For all the sound and fury coming from Saudi Arabia, a shooting war in the Gulf is not something Tehran or Riyadh want. Both US and its allies know that Iran is a much tougher nut to crack than Yemen, but can’t admit so publicly.
Saudi Arabia and the US have called Saturday’s attack on oil fields and refineries an “act of war” and accused Tehran of being behind it, even though the Houthi rebels in Yemen have taken responsibility and said it was retaliation for the Saudi-led invasion of their country.
The missiles and drones used in the strike allegedly came from Iran and flew over Iraq and Kuwait to avoid Saudi air defenses, anonymous US officials told reporters, who published their claims uncritically. Riyadh showcased the fragments of Iranian-made weapons on Wednesday, but admitted it did not know the exact point of origin. Iran has denied having anything to do with the attack.
That evidence is “nothing to go to war over,” former Pentagon official Michael Maloof told RT, noting that the Saudis did not present anything to show where the missiles may have originated.
I just remind the viewers about the Iraqi WMDs, slam-dunk intelligence they had in 2003 to launch the US invasion of Iraq. How did that go?
Maloof noted that Iran has clearly warned both the US and the Saudis that any military action will be met with a disproportionate response, targeting not just the US bases in the region but also the oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates.
So nobody is going to go unscathed if things break out and that’s the last thing in the world people want right now. Because you can start it, but how would you end it?
Professor Mohammed Marandi of the University of Tehran confirmed the warnings, saying that Iran has communicated them to the US twice already, via diplomatic channels. He also noted that Tehran has publicly promised to attack Saudi Arabia and the Emirates in retaliation for any US strike.
“Saudi Arabia would not survive a war with Iran, and neither would the UAE. They would collapse almost immediately,” Marandi told RT America.
If there is a war, the US would lose its key client regimes.
Marandi also pointed out that Saudi Arabia has demonstrated all its military might – or lack thereof – in Yemen, where it has been fighting since 2015 to subjugate the Houthis, without much success.
Maloof brought up the Yemen war as well, arguing that the Saudi military and its allies have shown they “can’t work their way out of a paper bag.”
The Houthis have recently begun to strike at targets within Saudi Arabia and have threatened to keep doing so until the foreign invaders withdraw. They have sent a similar warning to the UAE.
Meanwhile, the Kingdom has bought billions of dollars worth of US weapons systems that utterly failed to detect or engage the incoming attack, Marandi noted. Saturday’s attack is deeply embarrassing for both Riyadh and Washington, as it demonstrated their vulnerability. The professor believes this is the reason for heated rhetoric coming from both capitals, but is convinced that war is not imminent.
“I don’t think anything is going to happen, really,” Maloof told RT. “I think they’re going to have to let this one slide because to do otherwise would result in concerted military responses.”
I think it’s prudent that the US stay out of this.
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