This essay is in sequel. Its previous part can be read here.
With the Occurrence of incident of 9/11, America started its so-called war on terror and ultimately invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and then Iraq in 2003. Invasion of Iraq was not supported by king Abdullah as this would eliminate Saddam which would have led to installation of a Shia regime in Iraq which would make the country loyal to Iran. Against his will, Saudi gave US its bases to operate in Iraq war but on contrast Iran continuously supported Iraqi people against Saudi Arabia and not only added fuel to the ongoing diplomatic cold war but also initiated several terrorists attack in desert kingdom through its own people, exploiting the anger the people against their government on entering into alliance with US “the Satan”.
After rising influence of Iran in Muslim world and its beginning of nuclear, Riyadh was terrified which in return contacted Pakistan for military support to which Pakistan responded positively and gave a large military support to Saudi by providing warplanes and 13000 military personnel.
Besides, Saudis also intervened in Pakistani politics by providing Nawaz Sharif , a political settlement in Jeddah. While Saudi Arabia is believed to be in contact with Pakistan over collaboration for a nuclear program which alarms west that has already imposed high sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program. while on the same side, sectarian violence become on top in Iraq. Similarly, high economic sanctions converted things adverse as Tehran is diplomatically isolated in world which provides high benefit to Saudi Arabia boosting its economy to many folds. However, American war in Iraq provided strong future proxy ally against desert kingdom.
The above-mentioned conditions gave birth to Arab spring which changed the world dramatically. In Egypt, the first tide of Arab spring appeared when Saudi dismissed and assassinated a pious and elected Egyptian leader “Muhammad Morsi” by providing funds to military officers to put general Sisi in power. Morsi was punished because he had not agreed to take part in Saudi proxy war against Iran.
The second major proxy was seen in Bahrain when local majority Shia population of Bahrain wanted democratic revolution by several reforms against Sunni leader. While Saudi backed Sunni leader causing several days protesting at pearl round about, causing several deaths and lost to property.
Similar protests have been seen in Syria for reforms as a part of Arab spring when agencies picked students for anti-government slogans on walls which provided base for a historical civil war in Syria. Thus, Syria became hub of regional powers’ proxy war. Protests were then seen in Tunisia, Qatar, and African countries but they were not intense and local governments overcame them.
The end of a harsh decade of 21st century saw an ending of sanctions on Iran who gave green signal to P5+1 to deal with Iranian nuclear program at Natanz. However Syrian civil war produced many international terrorist organizations like ISIS.
Another front of major proxy war was opened in Yemen in 2015 when Iran backed-Houthis raised voice against Hadi, president of Yemen. Hadi called Riyadh for assistance and Saudi with its 34 country-alliance set a military action to remove Houthis from Yemen and ensure Hadi as president of Yemen. Most of the countries in alliance were poor countries that needed Saudi assistance but Pakistan denied taking part in it. Similarly, Kuwait and Qatar and Bahrain also denied it due to their Shia population in several areas. However, Saudi Arabia’s continuous attacking of non-armed civilians produced pressure on it, which gave rise to Shia protest in its eastern province.
In 2016 Trump rose to become American president and began his term by applying a total ban on Muslims but soon after realizing the role of Muslims countries in demography of world, it restricted ban to Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan and Somalia, which was huge U-turn.
Qatar also faced sanctions by Saudi Arabia for not accepting Iran as its rival, starting a diplomatic as well as economic ban on Qatar. Qatar did not directly got involved in it as one-third of its biggest oil field lies in Iranian waters. ISIS continues assassination of Shias in Iran as well as in Saudi Arabia. Qatar maintained its ties with Iran and Turkey subsequently.
While Saudi Arabia also capturing the basic politics of Lebanon by overwhelming its Sunni PM Saad Hariri but he did not a victim of this cold war as a result of good contribution of Saad Hariri with Michel Aoun, Christian president of Lebanon.
At last due to intense foreign aiding and foreign lobbying, along with huge corruption, Saudi faced lack of reserves which urged crown prince Muhammad bin Salman to siege many royal members at Ritz Clinton hotel and recover $1 billion. While Iran continuously lobbying its Shia tactics resulted in unemployment, youth failing, imbalance of wealth as well as economic decline that led to a currency downfall of about one-half.
The Cold war in the Muslim world can be split into three phases. The first phase is the pre-Iranian revolution phase. The second phase is the post Iranian revolution phase that began the bloody cold war between Iran and Iraq and also a cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The third phase is post 9-11 era where Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in proxy wars in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and the conflict. The cold war continues to rage and blood continues to spill.
This essay has been split into three parts for readers’ convenience and is to be continued.
About The Author
Saad Bin Ubaid studies Mathematics at Quaid-i-Azam University. He is interested in National Security as well as Agricultural and Industrial development. He is a keen observer of International Relations and Strategic Affairs.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of Rationale-47.