September 14 Attack on Saudi Arabia | Regional Perspectives
I wanted to take this opportunity to share some thoughts and perspectives from the region regarding recent events.
The attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on September 14th was carried out by Iran. Presumably by cruise missiles launched from within Iran.
Of all the reactions, I think it is worth noting two significant messages coming from the Arab world. Particularly from the Gulf Monarchies and those countries suffocated by the Iranian grip – including Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.
The call for the formation of a regional coalition of states in the region threatened by Iran. It should be noted that one of these countries to be included is Israel – although it is not explicitly mentioned. This is not the first time this idea has come up, but this time it is much more urgent.
The Gulf States are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the Western position vis-à-vis the growing Iranian aggression. The combination of a growing sense of urgency stemming from the escalating Iranian threat, together with the Arab Gulf States’ frustration due to the lack of a resolute response from the West, should not be ignored. So far, the basic assumption of the Arab Gulf States and the countries in the region that are threatened by Iran like Jordan and Israel has been that their policies towards the Iranian threat must align with (if not be subdued to) the West’s policy in general – and the United States’ policy in particular. That outlook is now being closely re-examined.
For example, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman reportedly wrote: “Saudi Arabia has the ability and the willingness to retaliate.” In an article published today by Senior Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi entitled “After “Aramco”? … What is the punishment of Iran? Limited or large alliance?” Althaydi writes “Saudi Arabia’s military capacities – and particularly its aerial might – are better than Iran’s…If it is up to Saudi Arabia to protect its territory from enemies, it is capable, as before, but protecting the world from the evils of the Khomeinist regime is not the task of Saudi Arabia alone.”
In the article, also published today, entitled “No Allies Except Ourselves” Saudi Columnist, Hamood Abu Talib says: “The real answer that can be deduced is that no one will decisively intervene to stop Iran’s persistence and its threat to regional security and the world’s most important energy source… If we are to deal with the situation with impartiality and clarity, it requires knowing that we are now alone, and we must manage accordingly…. Think carefully, wise people, because we (the Gulf States) face an unprecedented existential danger.”
The September 14th Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia is a moment of truth for the West and its Middle East allies. The West is clearly eager to avoid a direct confrontation with Iran. Some argue – at all costs.
On the other hand, the Arab Gulf monarchies, Jordan, and Israel are determined to thwart Iran’s hegemonic vision at all costs. Because from their perspectives, this is an existential threat.
The West, and particularly the US, need to implement a proactive and determined policy to stop Iran’s aggression. The alternative is a regional war that the US and the West will be dragged into whether they like it or not.
Here are three more articles from prominent Middle Eastern platforms that are worth reading to have an insight into the regional reaction:
After Abqaiq by Veteran Saudi Journalist and Media Executive, Abdulrahman Al-Rashed
Iran Declared War: What’s Next? by Lebanese Journalist and Political Analyst, Nadim Koteich
Today Aramco Labs… Tomorrow What? by Lebanese Journalist, Khairallah Khairallah
PLEASE NOTE: These articles I refer to above are in Arabic, but you can ‘right-click’ to translate.
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