"Cold War" between Saudi Arabia and Iran .. Ready to explode?

From Paris Fadwa Al-Shebani

The Middle East has entered a new phase of escalation, with a number of changes predicting that the "cold war" between Tehran and Riyadh could turn into a military confrontation shaking the region.


The Riyadh Post published an article, translated from the French newspaper Les Echos, in which Al Rida Nader, a researcher at the Rand Corporation, said in November that "there is a very likely possibility of a fierce war between Saudi Arabia and Iran."


The researcher explained that the confrontation can occur in several facades of the region, most notably Lebanon.


Despite Lebanon's departure from the unprecedented Saudi-Iranian escalation after Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has retreated from resignation he had previously announced in Riyadh because of Iranian interference in his country, this country is always ready to explode at any moment, according to the report.


 According to the newspaper, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is determined to minimize the Iranian influence in the region, especially in Lebanon, where the Lebanese Hezbollah, backed militarily and diplomatically by Iran, moves the Lebanese political landscape and foreign policy in accordance with Tehran's interests.

  Although the expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Clement Terme reduced the risk of escalation when he stressed that "there is constant tension, but that does not mean that we are heading towards a military conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia," but Francois Haysburg said, "The situation in the region remains worrisome." 

And the possibility of a military confrontation is supported by the entry of the US President on the front line where Trump announced from Riyadh to renew and revive the traditional Saudi-American alliance, which puts priority to stop the Iranian policy of sabotage in the Middle East. The White House's new master also wants to withdraw from the nuclear deal signed with Iran by his predecessor Obama in 2015.

Yemen is another battleground between Saudi Arabia and Iran that could explode at any moment as the kingdom seeks to restore legitimacy in Yemen through a military alliance since 2015 to end the control of Iran-backed Houthis in a number of areas in Yemen.

 Similarly, in Syria, Iran is trying to support Bashar al-Assad's regime through the military presence of Iranian militia as well as the Lebanese Hezbollah, while Saudi Arabia seeks to support international efforts to topple Assad and rebuild the war-ravaged country.



Qatar is also another arena for the Saudi-Iranian conflict, as Tehran seeks closer ties with Doha, drawing on the Gulf crisis. Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Manama and Cairo have cut ties with Qatar because of its support for terrorism. While the kingdom calls on Qatar to stop supporting terrorism, supporting extremist groups and rapprochement with Iran, the Emir of Qatar continues to deny the demands of his neighbors and play regional papers, including Iran and Turkey, to evade these demands and overcome the losses and effects of the crisis.


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