First and foremost, a disclaimer: I don’t normally comment on an event right after it has happened, if only because in most cases the key information needed to make an evaluation is missing. In this case, however, I am confident that three things are already obvious:
First, the murder by the Saudi Wahabis of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 other Shia was a deliberately planned provocation. The Saudis knew, knew full well, that it would result in an explosion of rage in the Shia world. Not only that, but the timing was also carefully chosen.
President Rouhani strongly condemns the attacks
Second, and no matter how deliberate the provocation was, the Iranians, sadly, did walk directly into the Saudi trap. Yes, I know, crowds are unpredictable, the local cops and riot police probably shared the same outrage, in the past, embassies were also attacked in other countries too (Russia, China), and President Rouhani unambiguously condemned these events and promised that every single rioter would be found and punished, but the fact remains that the Iranians did fall into the Saudi trap by failing to protect the Saudi diplomatic buildings (which was their legal obligation) and thereby gave the Saudis the perfect excuse.
Third, even if Iran did screw up, the Saudi reaction is ridiculously out of proportion and this clearly indicates that this was a carefully staged provocation aimed at creating a new, and extremely dangerous, crisis in the Middle-East.
Now let’s look at the bigger picture:
Daesh is in trouble in Syria and, possibly, in Iraq
The Saudis are in trouble in Yemen
Turkey has committed a huge mistake in shooting down the Russian SU-24
Other Wahabi run states (such as Bahrain, Sudan and the UAE) are now joining the KSA in its anti-Iranian stance
In my opinion there is a good probability that these events are all the staging process of an attack against Iran, but not on Iran’s territory, but in Syria. I doubt that the Wahabis would dare to attack Iran directly simply because there is no way for them to defeat Iran. Not only is the Iranian military vastly superior to anything these Wahabi fat cats could deploy, but the geography of Iran makes this country really impossible to defeat. If the Saudis and their Wahabi allies cannot even defeat the Yemenis, they are light-years away from being able to take on a sophisticated major regional military power like Iran (not to mention that an insurrection of Shia in Bahrain could give Tehran a perfect pretext to intervene). So no, I don’t see the Saudis taking on Iran frontally.
But what they can do is to attempt to attack the (much smaller) Iranian force in Syria. Under the guise of an anti-terrorist operation the Gulf monarchies could justify sending even more troops and weapons to Daesh and further exploit the numerical advantage Daesh has over the Syrian forces. Considering what they did to the Russian airliner over the Sinai, I would not even put past these crazies to hope to maybe attack the tiny Russian ground force currently deployed in Syria. All that’s needed to this hellish combo is to have the Turks declare some “safe zone” and openly bring in their forces into northern Syria.
Okay – maybe I am paranoid (I am!). But when I see how deliberately the Saudis engineered their provocation and now how smoothly they then ridiculously over-reacted, I get very, very nervous indeed.
I have always said that, besides Israel, the craziest and most dangerous countries in the region are Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan. To see two of them so deeply committed to an escalation is, I submit, very worrisome.
So for all the conciliatory words of Biden & Co. in Moscow, it appears that the AngloZionists are, yet again, doubling down and going yet on another offensive.
I have an extremely high opinion of the Iranian leadership, which has shown tremendous wisdom and caution in the past, and I trust that they will take the necessary steps to deny the Saudis what they want. But one thing is for sure: the new year 2016 begins with some very bad developments.
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world