Skip to comments.Purported plot on envoy pushes Iranians, Saudis closer to brink
Posted on 10/19/2011 4:12:56 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
The two Persian Gulf powers have been on a collision course since the 1979 Iranian revolution, and tensions between the two have increased over the past eight years amid rising oil prices, the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon and the Arab Spring.
The Justice Department's announcement last week that it had foiled an Iranian attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador "is just the most recent episode, but it's also the most dramatic," said Toby Jones, Rutgers University professor of Middle East history. "This is just one moment in a recent history of escalation that began to develop at the beginning of this year."
Iranian officials have denied the plot. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Al-Jazeera on Monday that the U.S. manufactured the claim to "create conflict between us and Saudi Arabia."
But analysts say the conflict was there -- and widening -- long before the announcement.
"Riyadh and Tehran have always been very wary of one another, very suspicious of one another's motives, and really determined to see the other government weakened, if not eliminated entirely," said the Brookings Institution's Suzanne Maloney, a former State Department adviser on Iran.
"If Iran has been engaged in a campaign of trying to knock off Saudi envoys abroad -- and the latest public statements suggest that Iran was involved with prior incidents against Saudi officials -- then clearly, they have removed any sort of boundaries or restraints on their own willingness to take on the Saudis."
Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been separated by more than a body of water: The former is Persian, Farsi-speaking and Shiite Muslim; the latter is Arab, Arabic-speaking and Sunni Muslim.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left) is pictured here with a member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. Khamenei says the revolts sweeping the Arab world have a spiritual kinship with Iran's own 1979 revolution.
Whose side are we on?
I think the Sauds would lose, if it came to major military combat. They don’t have much of a native military, having preferred to use the US instead.
? We should let em. Then blow up Tehran.
Help the Iranian people eradicate the tyrants with a little air support.
I’m down with that.
Don’t bother sending troops.
Just create a sea of glass and move on.
Something is very wrong about the entire affair....Why am I not surprised?? We assassinate someone and call out someone else on a "possible" assassination????
There are 5 really good air bases in Northern Saudi Arabia. Any of them would provide Israel with an excellent staging base for an Iranian attack. If the Saudi's want to destroy the Iranian nuclear threat, all they have to do is give Israel a week or two access to one of these bases, and a lot of jet fuel.
Iran has more than three times as many people, but when one looks at how few Iranians actually support the regime, it’s unlikely that the mullahcracy dares to start a war with anyone. The Iran-Iraq war did one nice think — it fed a whole generation of pro-Khomeini fanatics to the guns, and they didn’t survive to produce more fanatics. The survivors of the Iran-Iraq war were disproportionately anti-Khomeini.
The Saudis number less than 20 million, and there are A) around five million guest workers, mostly from Islamic countries in southern and SE Asia, and B) there are an awful large number of Shiites, and they mostly live in the oil patch. Iran’s move would be to encourage and facilitate an indigenous uprising, which would of course result in nearly immediate US involvement, with the blessings of the UNSC, including China, and Russia would abstain.
This was my thought as well. This incident could well cause Israel and Saudi Arabia to join hands, covertly of course. Israel would attack Iran and the Saudi’s would conveniently deny any knowledge while actually be providing Israel lots help with air bases, logistics, fuel, intelligence, etc.
The Saudis would win easily because they have a “mercenary” — i.e., the U.S. government that they’ve bought and owned for years — that Iran simply can’t match.
“give Israel access” — that is political suicide for the Saudis. If they did this, they would be thrown out of their own country by their subjects.