Just Another Guy with Opinions

Saudi Arabia vs Iran in Iraq?

Posted by shadmia on December 4, 2006


As America searches for a way out of the war in Iraq, indications are that regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran may have vested interests in protecting their influence with the Sunnis and Shiites respectively in this “almost civil war” torn country.

The Sunni sect of Islam is the dominant force in much of the Middle East. Only in Iran and Iraq are the Shiites in the majority. The fact that Saudi Arabia is the de facto “holy land” of the Muslim faith, and Mecca is the “holy city” to which many Muslims try to visit at least once in their lifetime (The Hajj), give this country a very special status in the Muslim world. The Saudis are seen as the Keepers of the Faith.

Ifiraq.gif US troops leave Iraq before the sectarian violence between the Sunnis and the Shiites is resolved, the situation could explode into a regional crisis, with the Saudis backing the minority Sunni Muslims and Iran bankrolling the majority Shiites. This could turn into a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Both countries have significant military might and financial strength to support their side.


Thischeney-with-king-abdullah.jpg givessaudi-arabia.gif new meaning to the visit the vice-President Dick Cheney made to Saudi Arabia recently, at the request of the Saudi government. Cheney was told: “Iran was trying to establish itself as the dominant regional power through its influence in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.”

The Saudis, America’s closest allies in the Arab World, were reported – in an article last week by Nawaf Obaid, a senior government security adviser- to be considering providing anti-US Sunni military leaders with funding, logistical support and even arms – as Iran already does for Shia militia in Iraq.

Although a Saudi government spokesman yesterday sought to play down Mr Obaid’s view as personal, saying it “does not reflect in any way the kingdom’s policy and positions, which invariably uphold the security, unity and stability of Iraq with all its sects“, Riyadh has also expressed its fears about Iranian’s regional power play to other Western states.

The Iranians on the other hand seem to be delighted with the way things are working out in their favor:

In iran.gifTehran, Iranian leaders have made clear that they believe they are the big winners from America’s involvement in Iraq. “The kind of service that the Americans, with all their hatred, have done us — no superpower has ever done anything similar,” Mohsen Rezai, secretary-general of the powerful Expediency Council that advises the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei, boasted on state television recently.”

America destroyed all our enemies in the region. It destroyed the Taliban. It destroyed Saddam Hussein… The Americans got so stuck in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan that if they manage to drag themselves back to Washington in one piece, they should thank God. America presents us with an opportunity rather than a threat — not because it intended to, but because it miscalculated. They made many mistakes“.


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3 Responses to “Saudi Arabia vs Iran in Iraq?”

  1. Danielle said

    Hi Shadmia,

    I am a producer for an American daily radio show and web conversation called Open
    Source, hosted out of Boston by Christopher Lydon. I came across your blog while doing
    research for an upcoming show about Saudi Arabia. In light of several things that have
    happened recently, including Dick Cheney’s visit to Riyadh, Nawaf Obaid’s op-ed in the
    Washington Post, and the resignation of Ambassador Turki al-Faisal, not to mention the
    commotion around the report just released by the Iraq Study Group, we’ve decided it is
    time for a show that examines Saudi Arabia for our listeners. And we would like to have
    people inside or around Saudi Arabia help us with this, especially bloggers. I am not sure exactly where you are based-I could not seem to locate the information on your blog. What should the west know about Saudi Arabia, about it’s relationship with the US, its views on what is
    happening in Iraq right now? What do we need to know about its oil, its people, its religious minorities? I would love to hear back from you if you have anything to say about this, and as soon as we have the show slightly more fleshed out, we will have a post up on our site for everyone to start commenting to, as well.

    Looking forward to speaking with you. Take care.


    Producer, Open Source

    www radioopensource org

    danielle radioopensource org

  2. عاشق المبادلة said

    ابي مبادلة مع واحد من الدمام او الخبر
    وربي انا جاد عمري 26 ماني حلو ولاني شين بس اهتم بمظهري وهذا ايملي
    ارجو ارسال رساله من الجادين فقط والمبادلين فقط

  3. مبادل الشرقية قريب للدمام said

    مبادل قريب من الدمام اللي جاد يراسلني فقط

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