Khaled al-Dekhayel argues that, in order to counter the Iranian influence in the region, Saudi Arabia must redefine its foreign policy:
Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia was originally founded with an alliance to a religious movement, it has avoided becoming a religious state. To the contrary, it is a civil state with both religious and political legitimacy since religious affairs in this country have, throughout its long history, remained distinct from politics. With such a project, Saudi Arabia would achieve huge gains, not only for itself, but for all Arab countries. First, such a project would protect and reinforce its stability. Second, it would lay the foundation for new developmental advances, not just in oil. Third, this project would stand be in the face of the Iranian project, which is a sectarian project that would take the nation back to the concept of the infallible Imamate and the Velayat-e faqih upon which it is based.