Saudi Arabia and Iran: Beyond the Propaganda War

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There is no question that there is a regional cold war heating up in the Middle East pitting Saudi Arabia against Iran. But the confrontation is only regional as far as Iran is concerned. Saudi Arabia is acting on behalf of the US and Israel, and not on its own behalf. Iran occupied UAE islands and yet the latter is less aggressive in its regional posture than Saudi Arabia. It is not the first time that the House of Saud has imposed its hegemony on behalf of the American patron: that was the Saudi role during the Cold War although Nasser (until 1967) frustrated these efforts.

Iran is largely on the defensive (after being on the offensive prior to the 1990s). The Iranian government now seems particularly and mysteriously keen on avoiding a confrontation with Saudi Arabia. Their media rarely responds to the feverish anti-Iranian, anti-Shiite rhetoric in the Saudi media. But Iran is very secretive (like its ally Hezbollah in Lebanon) in pursuit of its regional goals, and rarely articulates its regional vision. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is clumsy and crude and often expresses its goals in the hope of attracting American attention and approval (or Israeli attention and approval after Sep. 11).
Just as the House of Saud has thrown billions in a campaign to undermine communism and leftism in the Arab world during the Cold War, it has been throwing billions in its war on Shiites throughout the world. They figure that this will undermine Arab popular rejection and antipathy toward Israel. House of Saud, as Saudi columnist, Turki Sudayri, expressed it in Riyadh newspaper this week, wants Arabs to hate Iran and not Israel, or to hate Iran more than they hate Israel. Iran, on the other hand, is rather perplexed at the Saudi aggressive behavior. It acts surprised at every new pitch of escalation in the war between it and Saudi Arabia. And public Iranian statements are often bizarrely conciliatory, although Iranian underground actions may speak a different language.

The conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with the wave of calls for democratic reforms in the region. Neither of them is a democracy, and neither is an exemplary political model for Muslims. Iran has lost its ability to present an attractive political model: the repression of the Iranian political system has been institutionalized. And the Saudi government is judged, rightly, as one of the most oppressive governments on the face of the earth. Turkey has benefited from enjoying a political system that is seen as superior to the two rivals although its stance in the last few months has lost it supporters in the Arab world, particularly due to its weak position vis-à-vis Israeli crimes and the assault on the flotillas (the insistence on the apology is hardly a tough position).

But Iran’s foreign policy, for whatever reason, is closer to Arab political orientations than that of Saudi Arabia. The bizarre Iranian plot that is being alleged by the US government was a great gift to Saudi Arabia: suddenly, Saudi Arabia remembered that Iran had also tried to poison its ambassador in Cairo and that it had targeted a Saudi diplomat in Pakistan. But no one asked why Saudi Arabia did not reveal those plots prior to the announcement of the plot by the American-Iranian car salesman who was tasked by the Quds Force to single-handedly plan and execute the assassination of the Saudi ambassador and the bombing of the Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington, DC. Saudi Arabia seems eager to take the escalation with Iran to a higher level, and Israel is cheering. Iran, on the other hand, acts innocent and puzzled, but it may be hiding an opposite agenda.

The US is not about to go to war with Iran, despite wishes to the contrary by Israel and Saudi Arabia. This is a propaganda war, through and through, but it may get out of hand and may spill into a real war. Those who are running Middle East policies at the Obama administration (just as in the Bush administration) are amateurs who owe their policy making positions to their Zionist fanaticism.


Ya Zalami...
its like reading the yellow pages,
this information is kind of gossip!
neither new stuff nor analysis ...
so whats new?

When Arab nationalism becomes ridiculous and pathetic:
"Iran occupied UAE islands and yet the latter is less aggressive in its regional posture than Saudi Arabia."

Thank you for writing. The middle east is very difficult to understand from my perspective.

Mr. Abu Khalil deliberately dis-informs his readers when he accuses Saudi Arabia and its allies for waging war on Shi’a [in the world.]. Here is how he deceives you: It was Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE(all Wahhabi countries) who saved his [Abu Khalil]’s Shi’a in Southern Lebanon in the aftermath of the devastating war with Israel in 2006 which destroyed over 75 thousand housing units and left all major infrastructure paralyzed. By financing the reconstructions of the aforementioned damages, The House of Saud saved "the secretive" Hezbollah as well from the wrath of the restless population then. Didn't they?

Now (the Shi’a) Iran and the US struggled together since 1980 (the Iran-Iraq war), through (the 1990 war on Iraq and later the infamous blockade of Iraq) until the 2003 war in toppling their mutual enemy. Wasn't the House of Saud the biggest supporter and the conduit in overthrowing a Sunni-Arab government in Baghdad to help the Shi’a in Iraq and thereby(the Shi’a ) in Iran control the land of Mesopotamia?

Douri in Southern Lebanon

To say that Saudi Arabia isn't a democracy is a huge mistake,because it has chosen kings through elected representatives from the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saudi women are allowed to go shopping on their own anywhere in the world as long as they are accompanied by their males patrons--What else do they need?! they are allowed to have drivers--so what is a driving licence for?1

Freak out,Angry Arab!!!! One day they'll get youuuuuuu!
Do you know the Saudis have plenty of political parties,except they aren't registered to protect them from Iranian assassins!!!

Do you know why Saudi women aren't allowed to show their faces? Sure you don't!!!!!!!!!! They can't be identified by Iranian agents from Al Quds Brigade!!!!!!!!!
Come to Saudi Arabia where every woman has every right to say she has no rights!!!

So Saudi Arabia chooses its kings through elected reps from the USA, haa?
You r a completely brainless person:)

For arms sales peace is poison; conflicts are oxygen- congratulations America and his arms buddies Russia and China ....hurry up send your Peace-Consignments to KSA and Iran. and make billions of dollars. Special Thanks to Obama.

Excellent article. I wish more journalists could read into the game of governments using the media for propaganda. The real question is why did the U.S. choose precisely now to reveal the story and to what ends since we know they will not go to war with Iran? I am not sure where this is going but it certainly was planned to be revealed as breaking news .

"Those who are running Middle East policies at the Obama administration (just as in the Bush administration) are amateurs who owe their policy making positions to their Zionist fanaticism."

That is a foreboding reality.

read Ray McGovern's piece on October 3, "Israel's Window to Bomb Iran". the pentagon and CIA want war on Iran and the US administration at the very least does not care to stop it. this whole topic is really understated - the scam of Iran agreeing to assassinate someone because some Quds officers want to sell opium in Mexico or some such just doesn't justify SENDING our KIDS to INVADE and OCCUPY ANOTHER COUNTRY - for what? some opium? a Saudi ambassador that represents a country that beheads people with swords? Hillary Clinton said she believes it because "you can't make this stuff up". well, she needs to fly away on her broom and let more intelligent Americans who don't make stuff up handle it.

and for those who believe it even though Hillary "casts doubt" on it, why would the US be so happy to admit direct infiltration of Mexico's terrorist drug cartels and direct targeting of war on Iran? the US is so blatant a threat on the rest of the world that you morons can't even see it. over this, you want to go fight Iran? can you state why?

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