Recent years have seen Iran’s Two-Front Aggression. One comprises of series of its proxy involvements in a bid to confront Israel in the future. On the second front, it is eager to undermine Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty by supporting the Houthi rebels of Yemen with high-tech weaponry. Tehran always denies this allegation. However, most Independent Analysts are now convinced that Iran is the driving force behind the onset of unrest in Yemen.
Iran-supporting Anti-Saudi agencies
Certainly, Iran is supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria by sending fighters to Syria. It’s building an ‘axis of resistance against Israel from Iran to Syria and Lebanon. On the other side, Saudis have seen several episodes of missile firings towards their land by the Houthi rebels of Yemen. Last week, seven missiles fired by Houthi rebels were intercepted and destroyed in the air by Saudi Air Defense Systems. The kingdom puts the number of ballistic missiles fired at it by Yemen’s Houthi rebels over the past three years at 90. Saudis blame that these missiles are of Iranian origin. In retaliation, Saudis are smashing Yemen’s cities with heavy bombardment.
Iran’s Two-Front Aggression has entirely changed the geostrategic environment of the Middle East. It has enforced an awkward alliance being developed against Iran. To meet the common enemy, Saudis and Israelis are growing ties. Along with Saudi Arabia, other neighbors have also started showing a soft corner for Israel. and i.e. to contain Iran’s expansionist tendencies. It should be remembered that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Libya, and many other Arab countries had been former bitter enemies of Israel. Most of these countries have warred with Israel in history also.
Bellicose rhetoric against Saudis often launched by Iran’s officials has raised alarm in Riyadh to secure its sovereignty at any cost, even by befriending Israel.
Increasing bend of Saudia towards Israel
Saudi tilt towards Israel has created a sense of hopelessness among Palestinians. They feel abandoned by their Arab supporters, while another supporter, Iran, is focusing more on attacking Saudi Arabia. Further, Saudis and Iranian officials often trade threats that stoke ire on both sides.
Apparently, the Iranian nightmare has dragged Saudis to change their ideology in several ways. To seek better terms with anti-Iran countries like the United States and European countries, Saudis are shifting on a liberal track to appease western countries. So, they are spending billions of dollars to procure the latest war machines. Now, for the first time in history, Saudis have opened their airspace for Air India to overfly its territory to reach Israel. Before, no flight to-and-from Israel was allowed to overfly Saudi Arabia. In addition, there are reports that Israel is also seeking for gaining overfly permission from Saudis for its airline.
Iran’s Two-Front Aggression-Tension for Pakistan
Saudi-Iran heightened tensions pile up pressure on Pakistan also. Being a close friend of Saudi Arabia and a neighbor of Iran, Pakistan has to walk a tightrope to keep the balance. Because Iran has given sufficient space to Pakistan’s arch-rival India on its soil, orchestrating a complex geostrategic scenario.
Now, Iranians are threatening to bomb the whole of Saudi Arabia except Makkah and Madina. Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman has predicted a likely war with Iran in 10-15 years.
Iran’s expansionism in the Middle East has fuelled sectarian conflicts. Saudis also respond in tit for tat manner. The result always comes in the form of the blood of tens of thousands of Muslims, from Syria, Iraq to Yemen. In the past Saudis and Iranians, both were enemies to Israel. In fact, Israel used to be vigilant on two fronts but now Iran’s Two-Front Aggression has relieved Israel a lot.
The escalating Saudi-Iran rivalry is benefitting only Israel. Saudis and their allies have relieved Israel’s almost half the threat. In conclusion, Iran’s growing engagement on two fronts is actually strengthening Israel, rather than weakening it.
Jawad Akram is an International Affairs Analyst. He has done Masters’s in International Relations and has written articles for Dunya News, ARY News, Samaa TV, Express Tribune, New Strait Times Malaysia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and his Twitter handle is @jawad5677