The Tangled Web of Washington, Riyadh, and Tehran
Malou Innocent considers how the alleged Iranian terror plot may further ensnare the US into the longstanding Saudi-Iranian enmity.
…Demonstrating the fear that Iran’s expanded Shia influence has inspired among Saudi leaders, in February 2007 Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal encouraged the United States to strengthen its naval presence in the Persian Gulf, telling a U.S. diplomat that the Saudis would supply the logic for America’s deployment if Washington supplied the pressure.
Of course it is the Kingdom that is alarmed by the possibility of an Iranian SCUD missile attack on Saudi oil facilities; it is the Kingdom that is petrified by the possibility of Iran’s nuclear programposing a threat to the House of Saud’s regional prestige; and it is the Kingdom that has claimed that Shia-Persian Iran has beenstage-managing the massive, popular uprisings sweeping the region in order to undermine Sunni Arab regimes. If the United States moves to increase the scope of its political, economic, and military sticks against Iran, it will only serve to invite further Iranian and Saudi intrigues. It may also encourage Iran and other states like it to seek a nuclear deterrent. Responding swiftly to this alleged plot, as some political pundits have encouraged, will further entangle the United States in an intra-Islamic, Shia-Sunni, Arab-Persian rivalry divorced from America’s vital interests. [emphasis mine]
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