55% Very little: The Sunni Arab states will prove ineffective as counterweights to Iran
"Saudi Arabia, at least, is incurably ineffective in everything except oil production. Its diplomacy has always been feckless."
"At the moment very little but if Saudi Arabia really adopts a new outward look and plays its hand as effectively as it can, it could be a very useful counterweight to Iran without tipping into war. But, that remains to be seen."
23% The containment of Iranian influence throughout the Middle East
“Saudi Arabia, even if it succeeds in increasing its regional influence, will have little impact on developments in Iraq. It should, however, be somewhat more effective in countering Shiite radicalism in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.”
“Remember, the great advantage the Saudis have (beyond money) in the region is that they are Arabs the Iranians are Persians. This alone limits the power the Iranians have over the entire region and is a tremendous demographic asset for the Saudis.”
16% Increased sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias, particularly in Iraq
“I'm not sure I agree with the premise that Saudi Arabia's role is growing that much, and in particular its very dependent on Abdullah's continued health.”