Threats to Saudi Arabia have been made in recent days by officials of Iran. It is just one more incident in a series of provocations carried out by the Islamic Republic. Tensions between the two countries have been getting worse.
The threat was made by the Defence Minister of Iran, Hossein Dehqan, following comments made by the heir apparent to the kingdom, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Dehqan threatened Saudi Arabia with a retaliation attack and said that nowhere would be spared with the exception of Mecca and Medina.
The Arab coalition fighting for the restoration of Yemeni President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi is led by Saudi Arabia. The coalition also clearly wants to eliminate the threat posed by Iran and its imperialistic actions.
The Trump administration in the US is also very keen to work with Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern allies for the same purpose. In recent weeks, President Trump has shown himself to be very concerned about Iran’s actions in the region. In any case, President Trump is not following in the lead of President Obama who failed to deal with the Iranian threat.
It is also important for the US to deal with Iran immediately because it has been targeting American assets – not just its allies. Since the Iran nuclear deal was implemented last year, there have been numerous incidents in which Iranian naval forces have aggressively and provocatively approached American and other Western vessels. Incidents like this are part of the reason that the Trump administration put Iran “on notice” in the early days of the administration.
Numerous administration officials in the US have mentioned the threat of Iran and the need to contain it urgently. The Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley mentioned during an open debate session of the Security Council that Iran is providing tremendous support to Hezbollah.
It could be argued that the threats made by Defence Minister Dehqan are just tough words to make the Iranian regime look stronger than what it is. Whatever the reason was for these words, it is very likely that it will result in more of the same policies and actions from the Trump administration.
The chief of staff of the Iranian army, Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, said that Iran is confident in its ability to gain more power in the region. Presumably this is dependent upon support from its allies, in particular Russia.
With regards to its involvement in Syria, Iran has just signed a “de-escalation” plan with Russia and Turkey, but it is very unlikely that this plan will succeed. Iran has ignored ceasefire agreements in the past.
Yet, despite all this, there is more and more opposition to Iran, especially since the chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians in Syria. There is an international desire to push Iran away from Syria and to confront its export of terrorism.