Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Endless War: Saudi Arabia Goes on the Offensive against Iran (with U.S. equipment)

Back in February Iran's parliamentary speaker told Gulf Arab states there will be 'consequences' if they continue to aid US sanctions on Iran:
"Iranian parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani warned Gulf Arab nations Tehran "will not forgive" them if they continue backing "US plots" against the Islamic Republic.

"We recommend to some of the countries in the region who sided with Saddam [Hussein] and now are siding with the US plots against the Iranian nation to give it up," state news quoted him as saying.

"Iran will not forgive them again. There will be consequences in the region if new plots against our nation are carried out," Larijani said". -Arutz Sheva
These guys do not get along.
From Oilprice via Turkish Weekly:
Saudi Arabia has gone on the offensive against Iran to protect its interests. Their involvement in Syria is the first battle in what is going to be a long bloody conflict that will know no frontiers or limits.

Ongoing Disorders in the island kingdom of Bahrain since February of 2011 have set off alarm bells in Riyadh. The Saudis are convinced that Iran is directing the protests and fear that the problems will spill over the twenty-five kilometer long COSWAY into oil rich Al-Qatif, where The bulk of the two million Shia in the kingdom are concentrated. So far, the Saudis have not had to deal with demonstrations a serious as those in Bahrain, but success in the island kingdom could encourage the protestors to become more violent.

Protecting the oil is the first concern of the government. Oil is the sole source of the national wealth and it is managed by the state owned Saudi Aramco Corporation. The monopoly of political power by the members of the Saud family means that all of the wealth of the kingdom is their personal property. Saudi Arabia is a company country with the twenty-eight million citizens the responsibility of the Saud Family rulers.

The customary manner of dealing with a problem by the patriarchal regime is to bury it in money. King Abdullah announced at the height of the Arab Spring that he was increasing the national budget by 130 billion dollars to be spent over the coming five years. Government salaries and the minimum wage were raised. New housing and other benefits are to be provided. At the same time, he plans to expand the security forces by sixty thousand men.

While the Saudi king seeks to sooth the unrest among the general population by adding more government benefits, he will not grant any concessions to the eight percent of the population that is Shia. He takes seriously the warning by King Abdullah of Jordan back in 2004 of the danger of a Shia Crescent that would extend from the coast of Lebanon to Afghanistan. Hezbollah in Lebanon, Assad in Syria, and the Shia controlled government of Iraq form the links in the chain....MORE
Like any good war profiteer the U.S. is turning the situation to its advantage. The numbers are stunning.

From Sunday's New York Times:
U.S. Arms Sales Make Up Most of Global Market
Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran’s regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress.

Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals. 

The American weapons sales total was an “extraordinary increase” over the $21.4 billion in deals for 2010, the study found, and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of United States arms exports. The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totaled nearly $31 billion.
A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels. 

These Gulf states do not share a border with Iran, and their arms purchases focused on expensive warplanes and complex missile defense systems. 

The report was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress. The annual study, written by Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr and delivered to Congress on Friday, is considered the most detailed collection of unclassified arms sales data available to the public.
The agreements with Saudi Arabia included the purchase of 84 advanced F-15 fighters, a variety of ammunition, missiles and logistics support, and upgrades of 70 of the F-15 fighters in the current fleet.
Sales to Saudi Arabia last year also included dozens of Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, all contributing to a total Saudi weapons deal from the United States of $33.4 billion, according to the study....MORE
Saudi Arabia is the real Strategic Petroleum Reserve.