Monday, January 29, 2007

House of Saud vs. Iran … in Gaza

Stratfor suggests Saudi Arabia is opening a Palestinian front … against Iran:

Amid renewed and deadly clashes between Hamas and Fatah, Saudi King Abdullah on Sunday invited leaders of the two Palestinian factions to an urgent meeting at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, saying that there, they could negotiate “without any interference by outsiders.”

… King Abdullah … warned that the intra-Palestinian fighting, which has killed as many as 27 people in the last three days, “serves only the interests of the enemies of Islam and the Arabs.”

On the surface, it would appear that the “enemy” the king had in mind was Israel, but … if he only meant the infighting serves the interests of Israel, then reference to the “enemies of Islam” would have sufficed. But given the rest of his statement — “and Arabs” — it appears instead that he was referring to Iran. From a Saudi and Wahhabi point of view, the Shiite Iranians and their Arab allies are not true Muslims, and therefore can be lumped into the “enemies of Islam” category.

… the (Iranian National Security Chief Ali) Larijani meeting (with Hamas in Damascus last week) would be “foreign intervention” in Palestinian affairs, and with the invitation to Mecca, it seems the Saudis are attempting to pull Hamas clear of Iran’s orbit.

… Though it is unlikely that Hamas will be jettisoned, meteor-like, from the Iranian orbit in the immediate term, there are several reasons for it to respond with alacrity to the Saudi invite for fresh talks with Fatah. For one thing, there is the growing international pressure for Hamas, an Islamist movement, to formally recognize Israel. And then there has been the escalation in clashes with Fatah. Both issues are weakening Hamas’ standing among Palestinians, and agreeing to talks gives, at the very least, an appearance of action. At most, it will bring Hamas another opportunity to bring the security situation under control — without, of course, having to concede its position on the existence of Israel.

But because Fatah is pushing for just such a concession, any talks that take place in Mecca would be, almost by definition, moribund, and continued friction — along further acts in the regional Saudi-Iranian drama — seems assured.

Contrary to positions put forward by the Iraq Study Group and Tony Blair, as well as Iran and other Muslim parties, resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict is not the key to greater Mideast peace, and pinning any hopes of Iraq and other regional conflicts on that is to wish for failure.

That doesn’t mean the Palestinian conflict doesn’t provide leverage points. Any and all isolation of Iran at this point is a positive development, as we seek to isolate the mullahs and weaken them, in order to drive them out of Iraq, end their nuclear program and reduce the very active threat Iran now poses to the entire region’s stability. Because at this juncture it is the hamstringing of Iran, and not Israel, which is the key to Mideast peace.


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Brooke said...

Saudi Arabia is really moving against Iran, in more ways than one. I can't wait to see how this goes.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Joe Gringo said...

Brooke, I believe you're right, falling oil prices "forced" by the Saudis will cripple Iran, ..... at least the Saudis know that US consumption, et al, of oil is critical to their surivial.

This is a fascinatiing and critical time in world history

At 5:50 PM, Blogger Yekwana Man said...

Iran is the 400 lb. gorilla we all have been ignoring for years. If you want to frighten yourself, google. Venezuela-Iran-Uranium. I live in Venezuela and see things ...well, I live here so I wont say more. But Venezuela is NEAR to the USA.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Joe Gringo said...

yekwana man....btw, what is yekwana? :-)

Scary stuff that's for sure! Hats off to you sir, hope I'm wrong, but it appears conservative folk are in for a rough ride in Venezuela.


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