In recent days, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and the top echelons of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) dispatched threatening messages to Saudi Arabia’s rulers in response to the hundreds of Iranians killed in the stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, which claimed the lives of over a thousand Hajj pilgrims. Khamenei, along with IRGC commanders and ideological camp leaders, were furious at the Saudi royal family, holding it responsible for the disaster and promising a “harsh and decisive” response if Saudi Arabia continued what they called its deliberate anti-Iran conduct. The daily Kayhan, which is close to Khamenei, even claimed that Saudi authorities had intentionally caused the stampede after it was planned by the Israeli Mossad. Continue reading
Western powers have entered into a tense endgame with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. In the second part of this new report from the Globalist Reseach Center, energy expert Matthew Hulbert explores the critical role the China-Saudi relationship might play in its resolution.
The sanctions strategy that Western nations is enacting against Iran’s oil weath depends on more than just those Western nations. The interest (and actions) of the Gulf states and Asian nations also matters critically. Only East-West cohesion can seriously undermine Iran’s hydrocarbon economy. But getting the Saudis to wield such a brutal oil weapon to shoot down Persian nuclear plans will not be quick or easy given the stakes involved.
The al Saud are well aware of the other (more credible) hedges Iran has up its sleeve (beyond cutting off oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz). At the top of the list is stirring Shia schisms in Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon and in Saudi Arabia itself.
The “Arab Awakening” is still sufficiently fresh in the minds of Gulf region leaders to set them on edge. Iran has dropped hints that it could have played much tougher with Riyadh over its intervention in Bahrain.
Full article: Iranian Endgame: Part II — The Saudi Dimension (The Globalist)
See also: Iranian Endgame: Part I — Sanctions and Asia (The Globalist)