Monday, September 20, 2010

Will US-Saudi Arms Deal prevent War with Iran

So says the Washington Note's Steve Clemons in an essay published in the Financial Times.  I hope he's right about the no-attack-on-Iran part, but I have to wonder about the wisdom of this over the long term.

  • the Saudis see themselves as standard bearers for conservative Sunni Islam;
  • Iran, though perhaps no longer the exporter of revolutionary Islam that it once was, is nonetheless a rising Shi'ite regional power;
  • Sunni-Shia tensions in the Persian Gulf are rising (as evidenced by the Bahrain monarchy's decision to revoke the passport of that country's leading Shii cleric);
  • and according to a recent report, a super-Shii political bloc may be poised - with Iran's acquiescence and likely support - to achieve power in Iraq, which is likely to enrage Sunni elements there.
  •  And if Sunni groups in Iraq do rise up, their most likely external support will come from Saudi Arabia - to whom we now purport to furnish arms.  And how might Iran respond to that?

Seems to me the US may be buying more trouble down the line.

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