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Malik Ayub Sumbal is Senior Broadcaster, Political Commentator, and Media Consultant. Malik has been associated with world-leading media outlets and news channels. He has more than 18 years of experience while working on key editorial positions. Malik was President at the Consortium for Press Freedom (CPF), a leading organization working for the Press Freedom and Free Speech around the world.
US all set to cash-in Saudi-Iranian rivalry in Gulf

US all set to cash-in Saudi-Iranian rivalry in Gulf

Saudi-Iran mounting tension witnessed a new sequel during last week when drone strikes were made on two Saudi oil facilities in which the Kingdom accused Iran of carrying out these attacks; however Iran rejected all these allegations raised by the Saudi authorities.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif categorically responded that any strike against his the country will be “All-Out-War”.

These attacks also exposed the U.S failure in the region to protect its allies for which the U.S. has been minting billions of dollars on account of safeguarding them.

The responsibility of the recent drone strikes has been accepted by Yemen’s Houthi rebels who are in a state of war with Saudi Arabia since 2015. Soon after recent series of drone strikes at major oil sites in northern Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump accused Iran of carrying out the attack. On the other side, nevertheless, Saudi Arabia’s warmongering conduct has also been continuously raising finger at Iran being the mastermind of these attacks.


Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir during a press conference in Riyadh said that that Kingdom will take necessary measures after the investigations, if Iran found guilty for involvement in these attacks. He also mentioned that Saudi is consulting with its allies and Saudis are certain that these drones were launched from the North and not from Yemen side; however, it will be ascertained in the investigations.


Therefore, it can be gauged from the Saudi minister’s statements that the Saudi accusations based on the anti-Iran rhetoric. Saudi Arabia primary allegations are not based on any credible investigations and the Kingdom made their mind towards Iran all prior to any thorough inquiries.


Some past instances witness to the fact that Saudi Arabia used to pursue the instructions from the U.S. without a necessary check on setting up anti-Iran policy in the Middle East. For the U.S., such incidents are the best opportunities to keep active Saudi-Iran conflict with such kind of skirmishes.


Saudi-Iran war is ‘Unlikely’


Saudi Arabia has been trapped in Yemen and after four years, it has proved that it is one of the major strategic miscalculations by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman- the country’s de facto ruler.


The ongoing ‘Yemen War’ has opened a new war front for Saudi Arabia and the kingdom is still not in an explicit position to put it on halt. On the other side, if Saudi Arabia implements the US policy and go for any kind of aggressive behavior towards Iran in the aftermath of the drone attacks on oil facilities, the result would be highly damaging for the peace in the entire gulf region.


Middle East, especially Iran and Saudi Arabia, the two arch-rival countries, they are head to head in this confrontation. Both know that even a single mistake can lead both countries towards an unending and massive catastrophe that can turn the whole Middle East into ashes.


The two countries have been deeply engaged into a number of proxies in the Middle East and they have already calculated their strength for any future encounter and possible misadventure. Under current circumstances and the economic crunch situation, it is hardly possible for any country to waste their capital in war. Wars are getting more expensive and the public pressure on the countries leadership is increasing to avoid the confrontation that is snatching people bread and butter.


On other side, Iranian President Hassan Rohani on the deployment of US troops in Saudi Arabia has warned that foreign forces are threatening the security of Gulf. Speaking at UN, the Iranian President stated that Foreign Forces had always brought pain and misery and foreign forces in the region should not be used in an arms race. The US is willing to deploy more US troops to Saudi Arabia after drone strikes on Saudi Oil facilities. The Iranian President also added that Iran is willing to present a new Gulf peace initiative at the UN sessions in the coming days.


Will the US protect its allies in the Middle East?


The US pentagon decided to send additional troops on the request of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to protect its allies. However, the major question is how long U.S., will safeguard the Kingdom and what Saudi Arabia has to pay back for its security to the United States.


The price for the U.S., offer to safeguard Saudi Arabia on the condition of anti-Iran strategy and war game will be much expensive for Saudis.

The United States has history to deceive its allies and Saudi authorities should learn from the U.S., past. To lock in any kind of confrontation with Iran for the sake of the U.S., interest is not in the interests of Saudi Arabia.

The U.S., defense policy in the Middle East is based on Iran and Saudi Arabia rivalry. If today the tense atmosphere between both countries cool down the U.S., defense sector faces billions of dollars loss. Therefore, to keep such kinds of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran is in the larger interest of the United States.  History witnesses the fact that the US used to employ war strategies to keep surge its arms industries. In the Middle East apparently, it gives the impression that there are two main rivals, Iran and Saudi Arabia but actually it is not as it gestures. Middle East is the ideal ground for ‘Cold War’ and in any kind of confrontation; the ‘Cold War’ main players jumped in and demoralized each other interests. Syria is the best example in the recent case scenario.

Malik Ayub Sumbal is an Award-Winning journalist, Geopolitical Analyst, Commentator & Moderator. He is the author of his newly published book Tovuz to Karabakh, A Comprehensive Analysis of War in South-Caucasus. He tweet @ayubsumbal