Ever since world powers led by the United States reached a nuclear deal with Iran, experts have argued that the deal had set the stage for World War 3. Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia hit a new low after Riyadh executed prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr a few days ago. Outraged Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran, which led to Riyadh cutting diplomatic ties with Tehran.
Iran’s nuclear capable Emad missiles have a range of 2,000 km
As tensions between the two Middle-Eastern powers continue to escalate, Iran has released footage of a secret underground missile facility that houses its Emad precision-guided missiles. Emad is capable of delivering nuclear warheads up to a distance of 2,000 kilometers with deadly accuracy. Brigadier General Hossein Salami claimed all of the country’s missile facilities were so packed that Iran was running out of space to store them.
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Experts see it as a clear signal to enemies like Saudi Arabia and Israel that Tehran was ready for war. The proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia has been going on for years. But a direct conflict could lead to World War 3. A few days ago, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei compared Saudi Arabia to notorious ISIS executioner Jihadi John. Khamenei added that “divine vengeance will befall Saudi politicians.”
Will Iran vs. Saudi proxy war lead to World War 3?
Saudi Arabia has been the dominant power in the Middle-East for years. But now it is feeling more isolated than ever before due to falling oil prices and the Iran nuclear deal. Even though record low oil prices have taken a toll on Saudi economy, the royal family is determined to show that it is still the leader in the Middle-East. That’s why Riyadh has refused to back down in the aftermath of the Shia cleric’s execution.
A resurgent Iran has been supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen against the Saudi-led coalition. Analysts expect Tehran to step up its support for Houthis as it looks to drain more Saudi resources. The Yemen war costs Saudi Arabia close to $200 million a day. On the other hand, Iran continues to prop up Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, as Saudi keeps funding anti-Assad Sunni rebels.
If the proxy war turns into a direct conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, it would raise the risk of World War 3. Tehran aims to become the most powerful country in the Middle-East as Saudi Arabia is going all out to preserve its dominance.