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The Islamic World War ceased to be an empty threat

The Islamic World War ceased to be an empty threat

05.04.2018
Tags: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Politics, War, Middle East, Analytics, War in the Middle East

According to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, there are politicians "worse than Hitler". First of all, this is the supreme leader of Iran, which "is trying to capture the whole world." To neutralize Hitler, it took a world war. And such a war the Saudis are already preparing, as everyone is honestly warned about. Many do not believe them, and completely in vain.

"I believe that Hitler looks better against the background of the Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Hitler never did what the leader of Iran is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe, and the Iranian leader does not abandon attempts to conquer the whole world, "Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, told The Atlantic.

Earlier during his visit to the US, the heir to the throne frankly announced the possibility of a hot war between his homeland and Iran. According to Salman, if the international community (read - the United States and the West as a whole) does not increase the pressure on Tehran, in 10-15 years the world will witness a large armed conflict.

Thus, 32-year-old Salman was a futurologist of high class. Here, incidentally, we will recall the "Chekhov rifle" - the principle of drama, which is sometimes applicable in politics.

The case in Washington is not the first time the Crown Prince talks about armed confrontation with the Persians. Earlier, Salman had already admitted that Riyadh was preparing for war with Tehran, and, moreover, revealed some details. For example, this: the kingdom is going to do everything to make the war only on Iranian territory.

Moreover, at the end of 2017, in an interview with The New York Times, Salman had already used the beloved method of the liberal intelligentsia, comparing the enemy to the fascists. He named the Supreme Leader of Iran for the first time "the new Hitler" just then. Since then, Khamenei, apparently, "deteriorated" finally, becoming a threat to the world more terrible than the German Fuhrer.

Questions do not arise here with the Saudi monarch himself, but with the part of journalists and political scientists who do not believe in a "hot war" between the worst geopolitical enemies who hate each other at the subconscious level. Meanwhile, this scenario should be treated with all seriousness. Hot conflicts for the East, in principle, it's a habit. Suffice it to recall the Iran-Iraq and Iraq-Kuwait wars, the endless NATO operation in Afghanistan, the deployment of US troops to Iraq, the civil conflict in Syria, Libya and the almost invisible French invasion of Mali.

The Middle East lived longer in a state of massacres than the world. And he lived in full accordance with the famous quotation of Karl von Clausewitz: "War is the continuation of politics by other, violent means."

Iran and Saudi Arabia have opposite economic and political interests. They have different religions, ethnicity, mentality, culture, form of government. Find something common among the Saudis and Iranians is a task of increased complexity, the issue is almost a cosmic one.

There are several factors at once, which make the great Middle East war an impending reality.

The region is covered by the Sunni-Shiite confrontation. An interconfessional conflict of two directions within Islam is a permanent state of the Middle East, with echoes in any manifestation of human existence. Saudi Arabia is the leader of the Arab Sunni world, on the territory of which there are sacred sites of Islam - Mecca and Medina. Persian Iran is the leader of the Shiite world, supporting fellow believers anywhere in the world. The geopolitical confrontation between them was inevitable.

In this case, we are talking about the two largest economies in the region (if you forget about Turkey), rich in oil and gas, and therefore - competitors.

Finally, the simplest: Arabs and Persians hysterically hate each other. The Middle East is one, the Islamic world is one, and the aspirants for leadership are two.

This, of course, does not mean that the world will face tomorrow a real war of Muslim giants. But over time, the contradictions between the Sunni Arabs and the Shia Persians are only intensifying, which indicates the possibility of a real armed confrontation in the not-too-distant future. The question is only in its forms. If today we see a mediated war between these Middle Eastern players, in the future such a format may not be sufficient.

Iran and Saudi Arabia do not live in a vacuum, and sometimes it happens that the actions of a country are determined by third parties. It is noteworthy that Salman's revelation was voiced after his two-week visit to the United States. During his tour, the King's son held meetings with Defense Secretary James Mattis, the US business community, the bosses of the oil giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

If in Saudi Arabia, Iran has always been hated, then in the US hatred of the Persians is changeable and has its gradation. The administration of Barack Obama was determined to normalize relations, but Donald Trump seems to feel the feelings towards Iranians described in the film "Mimino" - "a great personal dislike." And all anything, Trump can generally be forgiven a lot, but his entourage is really set for war.

Head of the State Department Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and Pentagon chief James Mattis are not just anti-Iranian lobbyists, neocons and "hawks" who hate the "Ayatollah regime", but also supporters of bombs. At the same time, the current US administration and Trump personally have special feelings for the opponents of the Islamic Republic - Saudi Arabia and Israel.

The owner of the White House made his first official visit to Riyadh, where the historic "Arab-American-Islamic summit" took place and an astronomical arms deal was concluded for 110 billion dollars (an absolute world record). It is obvious that the newest weapon is needed by the Saudis not to fight against YGIL * or Al-Qaeda. In addition to Iran, the kingdom has no enemies at all, against which military systems of this level could be applied.

The beginning of the direct armed conflict of the Saudi Arabs with the Persians is still hampered by the absence of a common land border, as well as military experience and morale in Riyadh, where they are unwilling to endanger their fabulously rich lives. But there is one more reason. It consists in the fact that the war between states with a combined population of more than 100 million people (32 - Saudi Arabia, 80 - Iran) is a very serious step.

Such a conflict is capable of involving not only all the countries of the Islamic world - nobody will remain on the sidelines. The United States will certainly support the Saudis. On the side of Iran, one way or another, Russia and China will perform. Theoretically, it will not be a regional war, but a full-fledged Islamic world.

Here is just the case when the monstrous scale of a possible tragedy cools hotheads. So while politicians in Tehran and Riyadh prefer to find out the relationship by someone else's hands and on someone else's territory. For example, in Syria.

George Asatryan is a political expert, an expert on US policy in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
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