Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Kuwait Joins Saudi Anti-Iran Coalition, Pakistan Declines; UPDATE: Russia Intervenes

by JASmius

Just waiting on Qatar and Oman to make it a clean Gulf sweep:

Kuwait became Tuesday the latest Gulf Arab state to recall its ambassador from Iran to protest attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions, while also summoning Tehran's ambassador to express its disapproval of them.

However, the emirate did not expel the envoy or downgrade the level of diplomatic relations with Iran.

Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah said the ambassador was handed a memorandum that condemned the attacks and called for Iran to "respect its international obligations," according to the official KUNA news agency.

He also expressed Kuwait's support for Saudi Arabia in the measures it is taking to safeguard its security.

In announcing the recall, the foreign ministry was quoted by the official KUNA news agency as saying the attacks "represent a flagrant breach of international agreements and norms and a grave violation of Iran's international commitments for the security of diplomatic missions and the safety of diplomats".

Not exactly a heavyweight, but then neither are Bahrain and the UAE.  As on so many other issues, it's the trend that is what is significant.  And the Saudis have that trend moving in their direction.

Pakistan, by contrast, is a comparative heavyweight, and they're not signing onto the Saudi alliance now any more than they did a year ago vis-a-vie Yemen - but that may not be the stinging rejection it appears to be.  Why?

This is why:

Saudi Arabia will join the nuclear club by buying “off the shelf” atomic weapons from Pakistan, U.S. officials told a London newspaper.

The Saudis — who financed much of Pakistan’s nuke program — are fearful of international efforts to keep its enemy Iran from acquiring a bomb, the Sunday Times of London reports. The Saudis think the deal, backed by Barack Obama, will actually accelerate Iran’s nuke push.

Saudi Arabia has talked for years about acquiring a bomb from the Pakistanis. “The House of Saud has now made the strategic decision to move forward,” a former U.S. defense official said.

If the Paks are supplying the Saudis with nuclear weapons to counter the Iranian nuclear push, it stands to reason that they'd want to keep a comparative low profile in the current Saudi-Iran uproar.  Especially since a cursory look at a map of south Asia tells us that overtly alienating the mullahs to their west while still and perpetually being eyeball-to-eyeball with nuclear India to their east is not a wise strategy.

Here's a thought, though; If Riyadh already has Pakistani nukes missileized and ready to launch, and they can see, as anybody else should be able to, that Tehran is building a nuclear arsenal for the sole purpose of using it against its enemies - which includes Saudi Arabia, even if they're not anywhere near the top of the list - would it not be logical for them to launch a pre-emptive first strike against the mullahs and save even Israel the trouble?  Is that where this situation is heading?  Because done the right, specifically targeted way, it would, strictly speaking, make a great deal of sense, versus sitting back and waiting for Iran to do it to them.

Exit question: How would the Obama Regime react, especially since they are obligated by the terms of the nuclear "deal" to defend Iran's nuclear facilities from attack?  U.S. naval forces are right there in the Persian Gulf.  Would O order them to attack and bomb Riyadh in retaliation on the mullahs' behalf?  Just how upside down is this world going to turn?

UPDATE: Well, well, well, isn't this a fascinating development?:

Russia is ready to serve as an intermediary to resolve the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran that saw the kingdom break off diplomatic relations with Tehran, a Russian foreign ministry source told AFP on Monday.

“Russia is ready to serve as an intermediary between Riyadh and Tehran,” the source said, without providing any specifics about Moscow’s potential role in resolving the crisis.

Another unnamed Russian diplomatic source quoted by TASS news agency said Moscow was ready to host the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministers — Adel al-Jubeir and Mohammad Javad Zarif — for talks.

“If our partners Saudi Arabia and Iran show they are ready and willing (to meet), our initiative will remain on the table,” the source said.

Except, of course, that Saudi Arabia is not Russia's "partner," they're ours - or at least we used to be theirs.  Moscow, however, is fully aligned and allied with the mullahs, and they're currently militarily defending Tehran's stooge, Bashar al-Assad, and occupying western Syria.  So just how honest a broker would Vladimir Putin be in this scenario?  It would be more like the Russians dictating terms to the Saudis on the mullahs' behalf.  Whether the Saudis take the bait will tell us a lot about how far they think the Russians are willing to go to defend the Iranians as they are Assad.

Remember when we had the dominant influence in the Middle East and could exert it to keep crises like this from ever arising, before Barack Obama threw it all away on the grounds that America is the focus of evil in the modern world and then was re-elected by We the People who now massively disapprove of that very same Middle East policy?  Good times, good times.

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