The recent standoff between Saudi Arabia and Iran is not something new but has deep roots spread over centuries and goes beyond dawn of Islam. In the recent past some of the quarters in the Kingdom have been saying, Iran is an enemy worse than Israel”.
Nathalie Goulet, Deputy Chairman of the Commission of Foreign Affairs and Defense Forces at the French Senate, recently said Saudi Arabia cannot bear Iran returning to international arena and it has planned the recent dispute as a scheme to hamper Iran’s growing international relations.
He says it is a war of economy and seeking the upper hand behind a mask of religion. Behind the religious differences and generations-old grudges that Saudi Arabia and Iran hold against each other, there lies a sense of arrogant rivalry and an economic war as well.
He is of the view that Persian Gulf littoral countries, not least of all Saudi Arabia, never accepted the Iran nuclear deal, regarding which they still preserve their rage against the United States. He is of the view that the Wahhabi king has not only to fight the Islamic, but to prove that fighting the group is a real objective with Riyadh as well, even though the monarch has been accused of funding ISIS.
Therefore, besides several beheading punishments on the onset of the current Christian year, Saudi Arabia needed to make a coalition more powerful than 34 countries.
In this complex region nothings comes as coincidence. Saudi Arabia knew well that by executing a dissident Shiite sheikh, it would not only trigger anger and demonstrations on the streets of Tehran, but enrage regional Shiite minorities in Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon as well.
This was a well-calculated move from Saudi Arabia to stimulate rival Iran. This comes amid Iran’s attempts to return to the scene of world politics as Tehran has turned into the unavoidable venue for politicians, tourists, and businessmen.
The revival and return of Iran to the international arena is unbearable for Saudi Arabia. Since Saudi Arabia is facing a historical budget deficit of US$87 billion, equal to 20 percent of its GDP, Iran in the near future will gain access to over $100 billion of its assets blocked around the world.
Saudi Arabia does with a very convoluted governmental system. Feeling secluded and abandoned by the US, Saudi Arabia feels downgraded by turning into the States’ second ally.
Therefore, Saudi Arabia is forced to prove that it really wants to fight terrorism. By executing a Shiite leader and enraging all Shiites, it showed it wants control over the Gulf, one that in the eye of Saudi Arabia cannot be a Persian gulf.
Although the US has also tried to give an impression that it disapproves action of the Saudi government, the strategies of Saudis are clear: to hamper the process of Iran’s return to the international arena step by step.
To achieve its ultimate objective Saudi Arabia intends not only to team up with Persian Gulf kingdoms, but is eyeing relations with Turkey and, in particular, Israel. As it goes, the enemy of enemy is a friend, seems to be true about governments as well.
A meager spark is needed for a highly militarized region to turn into a blazing furnace, either directly or via in-between agents which Iran cannot control.
It is feared that, like the days of the Iran-Iraq war, the West would support Iran’s rivals, at the top of which stands Israel. It seems that the worrying silence of ambassadors supports that view.
However, no one should forget that the world needs unity to fight the ISIS but one witnesses a pointless diplomatic pressure rising in Iran and Saudi Arabia. The entire balance and stability of this strategic region is at stake. It seems arms dealers are going to have bright days ahead.
All the nations have to curb the factors that can aggravate sectarian conflicts between the Shiite and Sunni. It is the harsh reality emerging right before all of us certainly to turn against us, with flares going beyond the current boundaries.