Miscalculations In The Middle East
©2011 By David Talbot
April 19, 2011. Egypt just announced renewed relations with Iran, accepting Iran’s newly appointed ambassador to Egypt for the first time since Egypt recognized Israel in 1979. Then, a few moments later, the Egyptian government-in-transition announced an upcoming trip to Syria, Iran’s surrogate state, the first trip of the acting Prime Minister since the fall of the Mubarak regime.
Many, including this writer, have been warning that the “Democracy Movement” in Egypt was not toward a Western style government. These two events indicate the growing influence of Iran in an area that was supposed to be friendly to the West. This can only foretell big problems in the Middle East.
Two countries directly impacted by Iran’s warming relations with Egypt are Saudi Arabia and Israel. In Israel’s case, I see ever deteriorating relations with Egypt leading up to a complete breakdown of their treaty and a return to hostilities. With Iran supplying Hezbollah in Lebanon (through Syria) and Hamas via a renewed relationship with Egypt, what are Israel’s options? And, how much additional restraint can we expect from the Israeli government?
Saudi Arabia was embarrassed recently by Wikileaks when diplomatic cables revealed in 2010 that Sunni Arab leaders singled out Iran as the greatest threat to regional stability. The cables showed that Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia supported a military attack on Iran to stop their nuclear program.
However, Saudi leaders refuse to discuss the matter publicly. They fear upsetting their own citizens who would revolt on the thought of their country taking sides with the West (The principal customers for Saudi oil) against an Islamic nation.
While both Iran and Saudi Arabia are Islamic nations, Saudis are Sunni Arabs, and Iranians are Persians, the difference a source of conflict for centuries.
What does the miscalculation of the reality of Islamic Democracy mean for the Middle East? For the West? Only time will tell. Saudi Arabia are surrounded by potential enemies all united under the influence of Iran. Saudis have very little time to decide what course of action they will take, after their position on Iran’s nuclear program was disclosed.
If the Saudis make a deal with Israel, there will be a revolt much like Egypt. Israel will be almost totally isolated and will have to make a preemptive strike on Teheran. The U.S. oil supply will be in jeopardy.
If the Saudis make a deal with Iran, the Arabian Peninsula will be almost completely under Iranian influence. Israel will be almost totally isolated and will have to make a preemptive strike on Teheran. The U.S. oil supply will be in Jeopardy.
In my opinion the current situation in the Middle East is deteriorating quickly. I believe there will ultimately be a war in the Middle East. While we were busy backing the so-called Democracy Movements across the region, some to the detriment of long time U.S. allies, we failed to consider the most likely outcome of these regional issues, and what the impact will be on the U.S. economy and national security.
Anyway, that’s my opinion. What’s yours?
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