Saudi Arabia Plans to Confront Iran in the Persian Gulf
Recent events that have slipped under the radar of major news outlets is that Saudi Arabia has given up on American or Israel in controlling Iran's influence in the Persian Gulf zone. With the situation in Bahrain still simmering between the Shiite and Sunni factions, the Saudi government annexed Bahrain and is now part of Saudi Arabia as its new province. Thousands of Saudi troops have also be sent there. Saudi Arabia has also sent numerous missile defense systems. On April 18, the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, asked the UN Security Council to take action for stopping Iran's "provocative interference in their countries' domestic affairs."
According to King Abdulla of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Emirates have enough military prowess to take on Iran and feel they can do this without much support from the Americans. Maybe so, but I doubt if the USN would allow such a confrontation, let alone the U.N.
The King has also notified President Obama that they will make their own decisions without reliance on the U.S or Israel. This may be posturing but it is no secret that SA and the GCC are willing to confront Iran, if and when, it makes some move, whether militarily or influencing internal policy.
Last week, thousands of Iranian students, mobilized by the Revolutionary Guards and Basijj voluntary corps have protested at the Saudi embassy. Iran also strengthened military forces along the Pakistani border to warn Islamabad that if it sides with Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and its military will not escape punishment. Ominous moves for sure.
Thus, the stage maybe set for a military confrontation that is absent of American military force or influence. The US 5th Fleet is based out of Bahrain and USN vessels are on patrol duty often moving into Iranian waters to protect shipping routes. Iran will have to make the first move in any confrontation, whether it is direct military action or subversive actions that are caught and exposed before the GCC will respond. Of course, if seems impossible that any response of the GCC would have to have the approval of the US. Stay tuned.
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