Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sent a strong message to the world that Saudi Arabia is capable and intent on eliminating terrorism. This message constitutes a new language for Saudi Arabia in its relations with the international community.
There is also the message he conveyed in his interview with The Wall Street Journal, where he said that the international community must keep pushing Iran economically and politically to avoid a direct military confrontation in the region, adding that “sanctions will create more pressure on the regime.”
“We have to succeed so as to avoid military conflict,” the royal said. “If we don’t succeed in what we are trying to do, we will likely have war with Iran in 10-15 years.”
No holds barred
We can see here a man who doesn’t speak in vague terms, nor issues statements he has does not intend to take action on. Prince Mohammed bin Salman has warned that it is necessary that the international community bears its moral responsibility and takes a position against Iranian terrorism, which is directed against the whole world and not just against Gulf or Arab countries, to avoid a war which although it seems direct between Saudi Arabia and Iran, it’s actually a war that will take place in a vital region that concerns the entire world.
This war as everyone knows — if it, God forbids, breaks out — would not take place between just two countries or just harm these two countries but would harm the whole world which depends on Gulf and Iranian oil and relies on using sea and air routes in the region – passages that are controlled by the two countries’ geographical and economic location.
Iran has already launched a proxy war against Gulf and Arab countries for more than 30 years by arming Shiite militias in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and Kuwait after smuggling medium and heavy weapons to them. These militias have launched war against their own people at the behest of Iran. We have been facing these militias for decades and have scarified lives to prevent them from controlling and dominating our capabilities and resources.
The Saudi crown prince issued a warning to the international community that we are engaged in an actual war with an expanding and hegemonic country that threatens international security. We are the only ones confronting this while the world sits and watches. Iran’s nefarious attempts would never stop, as long as the international community seems to be interested in cutting its commercial deals which Tehran exploits to serve its interests.
Sanctions on Iran
Prince Mohammed bin Salman said succinctly, if terrorism was an island, he would isolate it. He said that this proxy war cannot last forever, and that Saudi Arabia and its brotherly countries, like Bahrain and the UAE, cannot defend the interests of the international community on its behalf. The crown prince called on the international community to stop this proxy war before it develops into a direct war as by then it would be too late.
Pressure on Iran today will inevitably halt its terrorism and prevent war tomorrow. The Iranian regime cannot bear the consequences of a re-imposition of international sanctions especially as the Iranian people are holding it accountable for pursuing an expansionist policy that has come at the expense of their welfare and have been protesting, escalating their rebellion and refusing to keep silent.
What European or Asian countries may lose as a result of joining the decision to boycott Iran in order to sanction it would be much less than what they would have to bear later in case such a war erupts in the region.
Saudi Arabia does not fight and protect regional water only for its interests but also for the security of the international sea routes, which are used by all countries. Everyone sees the amount of weapons that Iran exports to conflict areas through these routes. Actually, plenty of these weapons have been confiscated several times by foreign patrols, European, Australian and others. However these incidents have not pushed European countries to take a firmer position, instead of just issuing statements which are not followed by serious action.
This article is originally published in Arabic.
Sawsan Al Shaer is a Bahraini writer and journalist. She tweets @sawsanalshaer.