Saudi Daily Criticizes U.S. ‘Soft-Power’ Policy: Sometimes Use Military Force Is Necessary; Arab States Feel U.S. Has Turned Its Back On Them

Ayman Al-Hammad (Image:



In view of the escalated Russian military activity in Syria, and declarations by senior Saudi officials on the option of an imminent Saudi ground intervention in Syria, the editorialist for the official Saudi daily Al-Riyadh, Ayman Al-Hammad, published a caustic article attacking the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. Al-Hammad claims that the Obama administration is adopting a soft-power policy in the Middle East, and particularly vis-a-vis the Syrian crisis, while forgoing the military dimension – thereby awarding Russia and her allies senior status in the region. Condemning America’s “surrender of Syria”, its neglect of the Palestine issue, and its rapprochement with Iran, the author claims that the U.S. has lost the trust of the Arab states, which feel that it has turned its back on them. Al-Hammad advises the Obama administration so stop eschewing military force, because this means is occasionally required “to put things back on track”.

Below is a translation of the article:[1] Continue reading

Saudi Press: We Must Have A Military Nuclear Program Within A Decade

Following the July 14, 2015 announcement in Vienna of the Iran-P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Saudi press featured numerous articles openly calling for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to use the coming decade – the time frame of the JCPOA – to develop their own military nuclear program, against the nuclear threat that they say Iran will constitute after the agreement expires.

There have already been calls for a clandestine Saudi nuclear program to parallel Iran’s, which were backed up by official Saudi sources. For example, the month before the announcement of the JCPOA, Saudi Ambassador to the U.K. Emir Muhammad bin Nawwaf bin ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al-Saud told the Daily Telegraph that if the upcoming nuclear agreement with Iran did not include a serious Iranian commitment to refrain from developing nuclear weapons, then as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, “all options are on the table.” He emphasized that over the years, his country had opposed the development of nuclear weapons, but that Iran’s policy on the issue “has changed the whole outlook in the region.”[1] Continue reading

Saudi Press: Iran Behind Attacks In Shi’ite Mosques In Eastern Saudi Arabia

Iran spreads sectarianism with its terrorist hatchery (Source: Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 31, 2015)


Against the backdrop of the general tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and especially the war in Yemen, Saudi media has been replete with anti-Iranian propaganda. Many articles accused Iran of striving to destabilize and destroy the region through terrorism and violence, and cartoons depicting Iran as malicious and even demonic were published on a daily basis.

The recent bombings in two Shi’ite mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia[1] served the Saudi media as another opportunity for a harsh attack on Iran and its policy. Alongside articles that condemned the bombings and stressed the need for unity among Sunnis and Shi’ites in the kingdom, many other articles were published that held Iran responsible for the attacks, while ignoring the problem of extremism and anti-Shi’ite incitement in Saudi Arabia itself. Some editorials and op-eds described the attacks as an Iranian response to the failure of Iran’s plan to take over Yemen by means of the Houthis and to destabilize and take over other countries in the region. Iran, they said, is behind ISIS and other Sunni terrorist organizations, and uses them to target the Gulf countries – especially Saudi Arabia, in order to distract it from the war against the Houthis in Yemen. Many Saudi cartoons likewise depicted Iran as a sponsor of violence and terrorism.           

The following are excerpts from some of the articles, and a sampling of the cartoons. Continue reading

GCC oil fields and military bases threatened by the Islamic State

Saudi Arabia is facing today growing security threats amid fears that the same terrorism it established in neighboring countries, such as Iraq and Syria, will expand to reach its own territories, especially since the “Islamic State” organization has learned many lessons from the past experiences of its predecessor, al-Qaeda, with the Saudi regime.

New York – The Gulf governments seem worried these days. None of them had imagined, a few months ago, that individuals entrusted with security, people’s lives, oil fields and weapons would eventually pose the main threat to all these valuables.

Times have changed, so did the rules of the game. The new “caliph”, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, supported by countries of the Gulf that have provided him with money and arms, will not wait before striking. Al-Baghdadi may even resort to a preemptive war, this time launched from inside, not from across the borders. Continue reading