Middle East situation is going from bad to worse – a few comments that I have received is that this is all ‘saber rattling’ to increase the oil price.
I think not – there is more to it and comes down to arrogance by Saudi Arabia and the Iranians being a tad upset over recent events.
Iranians in the main are concerned about what benefits Iran – no different to any other country – national pastime. In fact they can not alter the current world demand for oil – nor can OPEC alter sales of oil by Russia and now the U.S.
The Syrian conflict is evolving externally into a religious mess – a sectarian free for all with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
If one has read ‘In The Groove’ then it is obvious both of these countries support different outcomes to the Syrian conflict.
When one looks at Yemen – this was initially a civil war – an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions – Sunni – supported by Saudi Arabia claiming to constitute the Yemeni government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden – which clashed with al Houthi forces and forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh – supported by Iran.
The Houthi – are winning the battle – and Saudi Arabia is not too pleased as Hadi’s government has fled the country – and there are claims that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have also carried out attacks, with AQAP controlling swaths of territory in the hinterlands, and along stretches of the coast – these forces being backed by Saudi Arabia.
A coalition of Sunni states – led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations by using airstrikes to restore the former Yemeni government and the United States provided intelligence and logistical support for the campaign – and why not – the US seems to enjoy cow tailing to the House of Saud’s wishes.
Saudi forces have since been trading fire across the border since the Arab alliance began its military operations – with the Saudi Airforce planes striking not only Houthi positions in the north of the port city Aden – but also attacking civilian events – no one is safe.
The region is predominantly Sunni (56 percent) and Shi’a (43 percent).
So we have this conflict in Yemen – bordering Saudi Arabia – the conflict in Syria – and to top it off the Saudi’s “best-est” friend the U.S. supports the lifting of sanctions against Iran.
Then a situation in latter half of 2015 – the Hajj – when one looks at the stampede at Mecca in October 2015 – casualties recorded were the deadliest on record with some 464 Iranians dead.
The total recorded dead differ from what has been reported – but it is a significant number all told.
The Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei threatened ‘harsh measures’ if the Iranian dead were not returned promptly – Iranian religion is Shi’a with around 90 percent of the population.
Iran was pretty upset over what transpired – amongst the deceased Iranians was a fair few Iranian and Iraqi officials – and a senior Iraqi politician did not hold back any punches in his description of the Saudi Arabian regime in that:-
“The Mina disaster was an engineered tragedy (by Saudi Arabia) to kidnap the Iraqi and Iranian officials on the pretext of the Mina incident,” Head of Iraq’s Sadeqoun Coalition Hassan Salem [sot.com]
Then the reason for the stampede:-
“The large convoy of Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the King’s son and deputy crown prince, that was escorted by over 350 security forces, including 200 army men and 150 policemen, sped up the road to go through the pilgrims that were moving towards the site of the ‘Stoning the Devil’ ritual, causing panic among millions of pilgrims who were on the move from the opposite direction and caused the stampede,”
Several Arab papers, including the Arabic language al-Dyar newspaper, disclosed on the evening after the stampede.
Well let’s now move to the latest Saudi Arabian beheadings – in that 47 terrorists’ were put to death including prominent Shi’a cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr – an outspoken critic of the Saudi Arabian regime.
Iran has stated that this action will ‘cost Saudi Arabia dearly’ – second threat made by Tehran – the first after the Hajj stampede in Mina.
Iranians stormed the Saudi consulate in Tehran and the Saudi’s have since retaliated by closing their embassy.
So – are we getting a clearer picture as to what the underlying sectarian tensions now evolving within the Middle East are?
Syria and what is happening within Syria is a ‘cake walk’ to what the Saudi’s and Iranians are capable of – mind you Saudi Arabia has US assistance – to the tune of $30 billion in weapons – and now Iranians have secured Russian assistance, intelligence and military weapons.
Iran is also testing rockets – to carry warheads to the Saudi capital – the show of strength of their capabilities and their arsenal is an open warning to the House of Saud.
At the end of the day who will the Western governments support – should Saudi Arabia and their Sunni alliance decide that it is about time Iran felt some US supplied hardware ripping through the capital of Tehran?
I am fully aware that Russia and China have economic interests to protect in Iran – so will this fact decide as to whether a new world war can be played out throughout the Middle East?
Even with the Saudi’s abysmal human rights record – the Western Governments kiss the Saudi’s arse – energy security – so I do not see them changing allegiances any time soon.
The question is though – are the Western Governments that stupid to allow a war to start through the willful belligerence of the House of Saud to not recognize others human rights?
Don’t answer that question …..