It’s a well-known fact that the Middle East matters are a delicate thing. And when the United States can’t fully control the situation in the region, it is especially serious.
The long-standing US’ dream to become the sole owner of the rich in oil Middle East seemed like an achievable thing. Until recently. After resolving matters in Iraq and Libya, Washington thought it was about to have all the oil in its pocket. The only thing they had to do is tame Syria and build a pipeline from Qatar to Europe.
But that’s where the annoying Russia came and started bringing one headache after another. The Kremlin made the world talk about Iran, which is hated by the neighboring Sunni countries.
It seemed like the agreement with Iran was reached, but here came the Russians with their S-300 air-defense missile system. And all the US efforts to calm the region went down the drain.
This time, the Arabian states that have always been loyal to Washington are up in arms. As many as four Arabian leaders refused to meet with the US President Barack Obama, which makes it a unique situation in terms of tensions in the region.
As it was reported by Saudi Press, the king of Saudi Arabia Salman cancelled his meeting with Obama in Washington at the end of last week. The king decided to send the Saudi minister of home affairs Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as well as the minister of defense Mohammed bin Salman, instead.
Along with the king of Saudi Arabia, the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain cancelled their trips to Washington. Only the leaders of Qatar and Kuwait were personally present at the meeting, while other leaders sent their representatives.
The Middle East is not eager to trust the US anymore
And it is a true fact that the Saudi Arabian leader’s refusal to personally meet with the US President knows no precedent in our history. It can be explained by the fact that the Saudis lost their hope in trying to disrupt the nuclear deal with Iran, which is the key geopolitical enemy to Riyadh.
The White House administration said that the US planned to give the Persian Gulf partners an opportunity to explain themselves at the meeting. However, the UAE ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba said that Riyadh as well as their closest allies didn’t want to just explain themselves. They sought documented guarantees that the US is prepared to defend them in case Iran decides to attack them.
It all bears evidences of Washington drastically losing its reputation and influence over Arabian sheikhs. And it’s not just about dealing with Iran.
The Sunni monarchs are trying to get the US to pay for all the geopolitical matters. The experts believe that one of the conditions of the bargaining would be the oil prices, which Riyadh keeps low in order to enable Washington pressure Moscow.
The US is playing a strategic game in the Middle East, the goal of which is to trick Iran and make it comply with some of the US policy’s demands. Washington is trying to make Tehran end its support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and its cooperation with Russia.
US trying to split the Russia – Iran – China triangle
The Americans are thus trying to split the Russia – Iran – China triangle, which unites the key countries of the non-Western world. The triangle is now united against the US without forming an official alliance. The US, in turn, is trying to split it to deal with each ‘member’ individually.
Saudi Arabia is the only sponsor of the anti-Assad efforts in Syria. However, the monarchs have sensed that the US can let them down any moment.
It becomes obvious that the Arab coalition, which is headed by Saudi Arabia and wages a war in Yemen, will not get a direct military support from the US. That means the events will develop according to a scenario of a hybrid war of small intensity, which might spread to the Saudi territory. By yielding to the US’ decision to attack Yemen, the Saudis found themselves in difficult circumstances.
And what is the way out? To seek support from Russia? But why would Russia damage its relations with Iran? To save the Saudi monarchy?
The experts on the Middle East affairs believe that the Americans don’t realize that if Saudi Arabia agrees to Washington’s policy regarding Tehran, it risks losing its influence in the Arabian world. And that is completely unacceptable for the Saudis. This is the exact reason why Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and UAE have such a strict stance.
Saudi Arabia buys a nuclear bomb from Pakistan
Meanwhile, it was reported by The Sunday Times that Saudi Arabia decided to buy a nuclear bomb from Pakistan amid concerns over the nuclear deal with Iran. The report was later dismissed by Saudi Arabia.
For 30 years, Saudi Arabia financially supported the nuclear program in Pakistan. The source of news claims that the decision has been made amid the Saudis’ concerns over the dangers of Iran. The authorities believe that by reaching the framework deal with Iran, Obama accelerated nuclear developments of Tehran.
If Saudi Arabia joins the ‘nuclear club’, Turkey and Egypt might follow suit, according to the source.
Most of the experts believe that the deal itself is unfavorable for Russia, and that Moscow would like to keep Iran under sanctions. Undoubtedly, Russia is interested in keeping the current status quo for as long as it’s possible, which had a lot of limitations imposed on Iran and Moscow was the only partner for Tehran.
However, it must be pointed out that such status quo was extremely volatile and the situation could spiral to either a direct war between the US and Iran or a war in Syria. And no matter how the war would have ended, it would destabilize the Middle East and the global economy as a whole. That’s why the framework deal is the least evil of all for Russia.