Saudis and Iran prepare to do battle over corpse of Iraq
By Philip Sherwell in New York, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 11:13pm GMT 03/12/2006
The gulf’s two military powers, Sunni-Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, are lining up behind their warring religious brethren in Iraq in a potentially explosive showdown, as expectations grow in both countries that America is preparing a pull-out of its troops.
The Saudis, America’s closest allies in the Arab World, were reported – in an article last week by Nawaf Obaid, a senior government security adviser- to be considering providing anti-US Sunni military leaders with funding, logistical support and even arms – as Iran already does for Shia militia in Iraq.
Riyadh is alarmed that Sunnis in Iraq could be abandoned to their fate – military and political – at the hands of the Shia majority.
Indeed, President George W Bush dispatched his vice-president Dick Cheney to Saudi last weekend after the kingdom demanded high-level consultations about their concerns.
They told him that Iran was trying to establish itself as the dominant regional power through its influence in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
Read it here.