Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A New Saudi Arabian Foreign Policy?

David D. Kirpatrick, New York Times: As U.S. and Iran Seek Nuclear Deal, Saudi Arabia Makes Its Own Moves

CAIRO — As America talks to Iran, Saudi Arabia is lashing out against it.

The kingdom, Iran’s chief regional rival, is leading airstrikes against an Iranian-backed faction in Yemen; backing a blitz in Idlib, Syria, by jihadists fighting the Iranian-backed Assad regime; and warning Washington not to allow the Iranian-backed militia to capture too much of Iraq during the fight to roll back the Islamic State, according to Arab diplomats familiar with the talks.

Through Egypt, a major beneficiary of Saudi aid, the kingdom is backing plans for a combined Arab military force to combat Iranian influence around the region. With another major aid recipient, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is also expected to step up its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb, potentially setting off an arms race in the region.

All this comes just a few weeks after the death of King Abdullah and the passing of the throne to a new ruler, King Salman, who then installed his 34-year-old son Mohamed in the powerful dual roles of defense minister and chief of the royal court.

WNU Editor: When Saudi King Abdullah was in charge he always had a patient approach towards the U.S. as well as how the Saudi kingdom should conduct its affairs in the Middle East. His successors have clearly adopted a different policy and strategy .... and we are now seeing it in Yemen.


Anonymous said...

Many believe the Saudi's have been supporting and equipping fanatical Sunni groups against Shias and other groups for a long time. Iran has patiently waited for pay back and it is on now. Saudi Arabia may suppress the Houthis but terrorism is likely to follow within her borders. This fight between Shiism and Sunnism and their proxies is about to get even bigger and more deadly.

James said...

Iranian naval forces are reported sailing toward the Bab al Mandeb. It seems the Irani's feel the Yemen theatre is worth a lot of effort. This should hurry along an alliance between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. What's to be seen will be how formal vs ad hoc it will be.

James said...

Remember what I said about the sea ingress and egresses of this area, it seems Iran may have limited edition of this plan.