Saturday, January 09, 2016

Saudis Escalate Tensions with Iran

Saudis Escalate Tensions with Iran

by Stephen Lendman

Riyadh and Tehran are regional rivals, each nation pursuing polar opposite policies.

Iran forthrightly supports regional peace, stability and mutual cooperation. Saudi Arabia is a monster regime, lawlessly pursuing a rogue agenda - the epicenter of Middle East violence and chaos, fostering terrorism, denying its people fundamental rights free societies take for granted.

On January 3, Riyadh cut diplomatic ties, trade and air links with Iran, likely pre-planned, using the phony pretext of justifiably angry Iranians storming its Tehran embassy over the extrajudicial execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Other Gulf States Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE along with Sudan and Djibouti followed suit, either cutting or downgrading diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran. Turkey and Jordan expressed support for Riyadh.

The entire scenario appears pre-planned. Are Washington’s dirty hands involved, maintaining 36 years of anti-Iranian hostility despite last year’s nuclear deal?

It bears full responsibility for regional violence and chaos, stoking instability, waging endless imperial wars, partnering with Riyadh, Israel and other Middle East rogue states, intending to keep things endlessly on the boil.

On January 7, Saudi warplanes deliberately terror-bombed Iran’s Yemeni embassy, a willful act of war, flagrantly violating the immunity of all diplomatic missions worldwide.

Riyadh continues escalating tensions with Tehran. It intends trying four Iranians on phony terrorism charges, another for cooperating with Iran’s intelligence ministry.

An Iranian national was wrongfully sentenced to 13 years imprisonment on phony charges of conducting terrorist attacks during last year’s Hajj pilgrimage.

According to Fars News, Tehran accused Riyadh of “pursuing a crisis-escalation policy against” the Islamic Republic.

President Hassan Rohani said its regime “distorted its image among the world states, especially Islamic countries, more than ever” - fostering terrorism, sectarianism and extremism regionally and beyond.

A separate article explained Britain’s involvement in Riyadh’s terror war on Yemen - including providing help choosing targets, many civilian ones to inflict maximum pain and suffering.

Britain’s College of Policing trained hundreds of Saudi police officers, notorious for committing human rights violations. It’s unclear what type training was provided during the December 2012 - October 2015 period, information on it suppressed, the arrangement now suspended or terminated.

UK-based Reprieve human rights group death penalty team director Maya Foa blasted the Home Office - saying it “has serious questions to answer over the relationship between British police and Saudi forces, (notorious) for serious human rights abuses such as torture.”

“Given that the Saudis are executing record numbers of people - including political protesters who were tortured and convicted in secret courts, some when they were just teenagers - the government’s refusal to reveal details of its cooperation with the Saudis is totally unacceptable.”

“The Home Secretary must explain urgently why she is risking UK complicity with these terrible abuses.”

On Friday, thousands of Iranians protested nationwide against Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s extrajudicial execution. In a letter to the UN, Tehran’s Foreign Ministry said Riyadh must “crucial(ly)” choose between fostering regional terrorism and sectarian hatred or promoting good relations and stability.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the kingdom of: 

  • trying to undermine last year’s nuclear deal;

  • “perpetrat(ing) acts of terror;”

  • supporting “extremist terrorists in Syria and elsewhere;”

  • waging “senseless war” in Yemen;

  • mistreating Hajj pilgrims;

  • “fueling public outrage in Iran;” and

  • engaging in “numerous direct and at times lethal provocations against” the Islamic Republic.

It remains to be seen what dirty schemes Riyadh intends next, likely complicit with its rogue regional partners and Washington.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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