Sunday, November 17, 2013

Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and nukes

I noted with grim appreciation today that Israel and Saudi Arabia appear to be willing to co-operate in a strike against Iran's nuclear program. This doesn't surprise me in the least. Although the two nations are nominally at daggers drawn with each other, both have a common enemy in Iran. The old adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend", still applies in the pragmatic politics of the Middle East.

What's also interesting in this equation is a report by the BBC earlier this month that Saudi Arabia may have arranged to obtain nuclear warheads from Pakistan.  (It already has the missiles necessary to carry them.)  Again, this is hardly surprising.  Saudi Arabia wasn't about to sit back and face a nuclear-armed Iran without the means to respond in kind if necessary.

This has been developing for a long time, of course.  I draw your attention to three previous articles on this blog:

Both Saudi Arabia and Israel watched those events as they happened, and learned from them.  They've had enough.  Saudi Arabia has fallen out with the Obama administration over its policies towards Syria and Iran.  At the same time, Israel no longer trusts the USA to safeguard its interests, regarding President Obama as 'naive'.  Under the circumstances, it's the most natural thing in the world for these two nations - at present the most heavily armed in the entire Middle East - to decide to get together to deal with the single biggest regional threat to them both.

The next few weeks are going to be very interesting.  If the Obama administration makes one more mis-step in the Middle East, it might trigger all sorts of sturm und drang in the region.



c w swanson said...

Would not this public preparation tempt the Iranians to a pre emptive strike? Why not suddenly attack, and seek to cripple, the Saudis and their allies in the gulf, and even cause them to sue for peace? The Iranians clearly have nothing to fear from the Obama Administration, which in theory leaves them free to act, and they would no doubt have the full support of the Russians.

Hot times coming.

jumblerant said...

I agree with CW. As an Englishman living in Israel, with an American wife and kids, it is going to definitely be 'interesting'.

I'm just happy that big oil doesn't have the power it once did, as otherwise we'd be looking at a far more complex situation.

Dirk said...

*IF* the Obama administration makes one more mis-step?

You mean "when". I wouldn't trust the Obama administration to get wet after falling into a swimming pool. (I was going to say "organize an orgy at a brothel", but that would assume they could even find one in the first place, which is doubtful, at best.)

Will said...

Well, the Obama regime is guaranteed to make more missteps in that area. Seems like an immutable law, sort of like gravity. Obama=major goofs, right?

We are Sooo screwed. Maybe the necktie party in DC will be festive?

Will said...

"cause them to sue for peace"

CW Swanson:
This would indicate you have little understanding of the Israelis vs the Arab nations. There is no surrender possible.

And the level of weaponry Israel possesses. They have the ability to "bounce the rubble" in ALL the opposing Arab/Islamic nations. Perhaps you are more familiar with the term "glass parking lots"?

You don't mind if your tank of fuel glows in the dark, do you? It might, the way Obama is going.

c w swanson said...

I dunno, Will, if the Iranians could reduce the Saudis and their Persian Gulf allies to Persian satellites, independent but subservient to the mullahs, they might live with that if the alternative was invasion by the Iranian army, kind of like the Finns were to the Soviet Union for so many years. In the end, the Arabs might see that as better than destruction. They even have a term for it in Shiite Islam - the hudna. However, if the Iranians wait until the Saudis find a bomb somewhere, their window of opportunity here closes. Who knows what their calculations are, but certainly they have to see where things are now versus where they will be if there is a jittery and fragile nuclear stalemate.

The Israelis will certainly never surrender.

In either scenario, hot times!