Now that you are in the Middle East Groove –
Why the big spat?
Let us look at the players principally Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Well – Iran has Syria, Iraq, China and Russia onside.
Saudi Arabia has the U.S. (and by proxy all Western Governments) plus Israel, Turkey, Qatar, UAE onside.
This is in reality a battle royal – Iran having sanctions lifted – on a nuclear threat that actually died so many years ago, due to the inherent costs – is now flexing its muscles with oil and gas investments and sales – principally to China.
If one looks at the Middle East as a whole though – with these players – then a couple of issues come through.
These issues involve the country of Syria – and yes – it is all about money – oil – gas.
Saudi Arabia – is well – so old school.
They have the cheap oil – they have the money and have made the right investments through their Sovereign Fund – for now.
They have the support – of the majors – their money gives them open door access throughout the world.
The rulers – the House of Saud funds terrorism on a massive scale and has no idea as to what ‘human rights’ are.
Iran on the other hand has nothing except oil and gas reserves – through decade long sanctions the country has suffered – a new President elected by the youth and finally a new beginning now that sanctions are lifted.
This was not what Saudi Arabia nor Israel wanted – both fully aware that the nuclear threat from Iran died years ago – both Countries tried to stop Iran re-emerging back into the global economy.
Their ‘Best-est’ friend Obama acquiesced to Russian overtures and led the charge to have the sanctions lifted – with no doubt the whispers of the US oil oligarchs – advising Obama that the existing sanctions are assisting China – not American firms.
So – Iran freed and within a few months can be expected to be exporting 2.7 million barrels of oil a day – but – like these twists – through the lifting of sanctions the voting power of OPEC changed.
Iran – a member of OPEC was back – but that meant only 12 members and a very tight vote for the ‘old school’ Saudi’s.
The result was the re-admittance of Indonesia to the OPEC fold – after a seven year absence – another Saudi / Sunni vote – so control is maintained by Saudi Arabia over OPEC.
With Saudi and Russian oil exports – the latter exceeding Saudi levels monthly continued – then low prices through over supply dominate – in effect stifling Iran’s ability to generate significant foreign currency with price per barrel of oil – which is well down on their costs to produce – just what the House of Saud requires.
Control and regional power of the oil and gas is a big issue – hence we saw Qatar enter the picture with Saudi Arabia and with the assistance of US and Turkey – this initially as a futile attempt to overthrow the Syrian / Assad regime.
The sole purpose of which was the Qatar gas pipeline through Syria – Iran and Russia (and to a lesser extent Egypt whose pipeline currently supplies Syria only) – already have access through Syria – Qatar was and still is desperate to seek natural gas sales to Europe – in step mind you with the US and European’s policy on the Gazprom / Russian gas monopoly.
Israel which sits with its borders to Syria – has a vested interest on two fronts – simple case of stolen assets – yes these sovereign scallywags stealing other countries assets – Israel violated sanctions to do business with Iran – then stole a partnership deal and sold the oil to the tune of $1.1 billion – a Swiss Court has ordered Israel to repatriate the monies to Iran – Israel refuses to do so.
Then we have Israel with oil reserves that are established in the Golan Heights region – Syrian territory – annexed illegally by the Israelis after the 6 day war – against International Law – and yes an American conglomerate has rights to extract the oil on the Golan Heights – a US company ‘Genie Oil and Gas’ – with none other than Dick Cheney, Jacob Rothschild, Rupert Murdoch and a few other rascals on the Board.
So there we have the foundation of an epic Syrian struggle within the Middle East – truth is stranger than fiction – and yes quite convoluted.
We have Saudi’s supporting Qatar’s desire to utilize Syria to build a pipeline through to Europe – which was denied by Syria and the aftermath is that it supported by none other than Russia – Iran – Iraq.
Saudi’s are funding the terrorism in Syria in an attempt to dethrone Assad – a funded proxy war – but due to regional allies is supported by both Turkey and Israel – with US supplying monies – warplanes and ground troops.
The Saudi’s attempting to coerce Iran economically – through OPEC – a long struggle no doubt and one wonders why they want to pick more than one fight in the region. Particularly in light of the fact they are fighting a costly war in Yemen – to support a puppet ruler.
Greed is a big instigator for not only the rulers of these Middle Eastern countries (supported by the US regime) to engage in war – but from US conglomerates – the Syrian hostilities are but a sideshow to the real escalating tensions now between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
If one maps the resources of known natural gas reserves in the entire Persian Gulf region – then the initial motives of the Saudi-led Qatar and UAE – backed by the US – in financing the opposition to Assad by training and funding the known terror groups operating in Syria – principally the Daesh, come ISIS, come jihadist terrorists becomes a lot clearer.
The violence being portrayed in the country of Syria in the Middle East is a war based on greed – not sectarian lines – not to overthrow a despot – it is in reality a ‘need’ to overthrow the Syrian regime and gain control of the real estate and reserves and allow those stronger States and Companies – with money – the power to rape and pillage.
Iran – along with Iraq and Russia say no – Saudi Arabia and Israel are no doubt livid over the best laid plans coming undone.
More to the point they would both be incensed on the French and British aligning themselves with the Russians – over their proxy army Daesh, come ISIS – running amok committing terrorist acts in Paris and Beirut.
Then you have the US – sitting on the sidelines unwilling to commit to any wrongdoing – having the unenviable task of having to accept Assad / Syria – as the ‘good guys’ – through Hollande / French insistence to join the ‘war against terrorism’…… then to top it off their need to safeguard Iran from a sabre rattling Israel.
US and Obama must feel as though they are Don Quixote – at the end of the day.
And Egypt – well what can one say – gas pipeline unable to be completed through to Turkey – due to security risks – and their tourist industry in tatters over the downing of a Russian civilian plane.
Sisi must be wondering what he has done – the only Middle East leader who understands that the Qur’an must be updated to bring the book into the 21st Century – a President definitely in need of some luck to alter the sharp decline in his Country’s income and increase in unemployment.
Iran in the meantime is enjoying its freedom from sanctions – in the main the population are happy and enjoying life. Nationalistic fervor being enjoyed by the leaders.
This cannot be said to be the same for Saudi Arabia – an increase in fuel costs – due to cuts to the subsidies – and a ruling elite who have severe problems maintaining social cohesion with a war raging in Yemen and the blowback of terrorism within their borders.
Edit: 19th April 2018
Times change and opinions change. Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his father are undertaking major reconstruction within Saudi Arabia.
They have admitted funding terrorism but had ceased doing so.
They have instigated major reforms – huge reforms in their country and throughout the Middle East.
God bless them both in their endeavours.