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Saudis’ Proxy War Against Iran

Ethnic minorities, backed by neighboring Arab countries, are ramping up assaults against the regime in Tehran

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Iranian Saman Bank officials asses damage after a bomb attack in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, dominated by ethnic minority Arabs, where a scheduled visit by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been canceled at the last minute, Jan. 24, 2006. At least eight people were killed in the double bomb attack in front of the privately run bank and a government office. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

On the evening of Oct. 23, part of a gas pipeline facility in the western Iranian city of Shush exploded—one of several recent attacks on Iranian infrastructure near the country’s borders. In contrast to the clandestine campaign of sabotage against Iran’s nuclear facilities, whose perpetrators do not openly claim responsibility—though most suspect it is the work of the United States or Israel—the Shush hit was promptly followed by a press release put out by a group called the “Battalions of the Martyr Mohiuddin Al Nasser.” The group is comprised of Ahwazi Arabs, one of several non-Persian ethnic groups inside Iran who together number at least 40 percent of the Iranian population. Some of these minority communities, which live mostly in the outlying provinces of the country, are restive and have been for years: The regime in Tehran represses their languages and cultures, chokes the local economy, and limits their movement. Increasingly, these groups have been organizing themselves politically and militarily—and some in Washington and Israel could not be more thrilled with the development.

Following the logic that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” a few influential policymakers in Washington and Tel Aviv have argued for years that support for the aspirations of non-Persian Iranians—like Arabs, Baluchis, and Kurds—would be both morally right and strategically useful as a means to destabilize the regime. Some even see an opportunity to partner with these groups for a ground assault to complement air strikes on Iranian nuclear targets.

Seymour Hersh, writing in The New Yorker in 2008, claimed the Bush Administration had begun a “major escalation of covert operations against Iran” including “support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations.” Citing retired and unnamed intelligence officials, Hersh suggested that the groups were being used to attack Iranian Revolutionary Guards and other regime targets, complementing American covert action against Iran’s nuclear program. (Hersh did not respond to a request for comment on his assertions.)

I recently spoke with two former U.S. government officials who had been involved in Iran policy during the Bush years. They opined that Hersh had blurred actual policy with contingency plans that had not been implemented. They also felt that the Obama Administration has had little interest in such strategies, preferring a more limited focus on the nuclear facilities themselves. These competing assertions should all be taken with a grain of salt. As Israelis say of their own Iran policy: “He who knows, doesn’t talk, and he who talks, doesn’t know.”

But activities in recent months prove that an equally important question is what Iran’s minorities and sympathetic neighboring countries are doing on their own. Extensive reporting from local sources in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states reveals that several countries surrounding Iran are beginning to back the country’s ethnic dissidents as a way of waging a proxy war against the mullahs. In Saudi Arabia, media and clerical elites recently mobilized to raise public awareness about the situation of Ahwazi Arabs, frame their cause as a national liberation struggle, and urge Arabs and Muslims to support them. Saudi donors are providing money and technological support to Ahwazi dissidents seeking to wage their own public information campaign, calling on Ahwazis to rise up against their rulers. The Saudi initiatives, in turn, join ongoing ventures by Azerbaijan and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government to organize and train other dissident groups.

These recently expanded initiatives clearly correlate with the upsurge in violent attacks in Iran’s outlying provinces, pointing to a new campaign reminiscent of what Hersh imputed to the Bush Administration—but with local players in the lead. These players seem poised to escalate in the months to come, whether Americans or Israelis attempt to work with them or not.


Ahwaz as defined by Arabs (as opposed to the Persian designation “Ahvaz,” which is smaller) is a territory the size of Belarus that borders Iraq to the west and faces Saudi Arabia across the Persian Gulf. Some estimates say it is home to 3 million Arabic speakers, though locals claim the number is much larger. The area contains approximately 80 percent of Iran’s oil reserves and nearly all of its gas reserves, as well as a nuclear reactor near the city of Bushehr. Small wonder the regime in Tehran takes harsh measures to discourage separatist tendencies: It has reportedly repressed the study and use of Arabic in Ahwaz—especially hypocritical given that Arabic, the language of the Quran, is otherwise celebrated by the Islamist regime and taught in schools countrywide. It has cut off the population from its Arab neighbors and executed scores of political activists. Locals allege that Tehran is also trying to alter the demographics of the area by moving Persians there, much the way Beijing has exported Han Chinese to Tibet.

Ahwazis who oppose the Islamic Republic call their land “Iranian-occupied territory.” While some dissidents demand greater autonomy and an end to repression, others, such as the National Organization for the Liberation of Al-Ahwaz, want an independent state. Though it is difficult to gauge support for particular organizations, it is beyond dispute that a critical mass of Ahwazis are willing to organize against Tehran at risk to themselves. Thousands rioted for four days in April 2005, reportedly instigated by rumors that the government was planning to transfer Arabs out of Ahwaz. They braved live ammunition that killed 20. In April 2011, perhaps inspired by the Arab spring uprisings, thousands more took to the streets in their area; according to Amnesty International, another 27 were killed.

Few Westerners follow these happenings, and for decades, few Arabs did either: The region’s government media and semi-independent satellite channels barely covered it. Arab disinterest may have stemmed from the fact that the majority of Ahwazi Arabs are Shiite, a despised sect to many in the predominantly Sunni Arab world. “But Arab governments have also been afraid of the regime in Tehran,” said Saeed Dabat, an activist with the Movement of Arab Struggle for the Liberation of Al-Ahwaz based in Copenhagen. “None of them was willing to rouse popular sentiments for a cause they wanted nothing to do with.”

Then, last summer, something changed. In June, a young Saudi cleric named Abdullah Al Ya’n Allah, hosting a new satellite TV program called Ahwaz the Forgotten (Al-Ahwaz al-Mansiya), castigated Arabs for ignoring the plight of their brethren living under Iranian occupation. Saudi newspaper headlines began to describe the mistreatment of Ahwazi Arabs. Elaph, a Saudi-backed online magazine, started educating its readers on the history of the “Ahwazi struggle” and covering news from the “front.” The high-traffic, Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya Web site in September gave a platform to a prominent Ahwazi activist, publishing a speech he had given about his cause during a French parliamentary symposium. (English translation here.) And in a country where poetry still inspires a mass audience, popular Saudi poet Nauf al-Mutayri began writing odes to the woebegone province. (In fact, she contacted me out of the blue last month to propose that I too learn about Ahwaz and try to interest Americans in its “liberation.”)

The kingdom has used media in this coordinated way before, most memorably in the 1980s, when broadcasts and publications were enlisted to attract Muslims everywhere to the jihad against Soviets in Afghanistan. The case for a similar, if more modest, project to focus on Ahwaz is clear: Saudi Arabia, a kingdom backed by Sunni Islamist clerics, has long viewed Shiite Iran as its regional rival. It opposes Iranian support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria’s regime, which is massacring Sunni rebels. They feel threatened by Iran’s nuclear project, which they believe to be near fruition. Earlier this year, they were also personally enraged following an attempted assassination by the Iranians of a beloved adviser to the king, Saudi ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir, in the middle of downtown Washington, D.C.

In addition to pointed daily coverage of the mullahs on Saudi-backed networks such as Al-Arabiya, Saudis are launching new Persian broadcasts to make their case against the regime to the Iranian population. It would seem that by touting the Ahwazi cause within the kingdom, Saudis also want to unleash their people’s prayers, their fighting spirit, and their savings. This week, thanks to Saudi donor Muhammad al-Habdan, the Ahwazis themselves are launching their own TV network, beaming skyward from Riyadh and down to Iran via an Egyptian orbital satellite. Habdan has backed hardline Salafi media in the past; accordingly, a Saudi television producer told me, the new Ahwazi channel is likely to toe a Salafi jihadist line. (Some technical specs about the network have been posted to a corresponding website in English.)

But Saudi support for the Ahwazi opposition is one piece of a larger regional picture. Saudis are also providing more modest funding to non-Arab ethnics in Iran, as are two other neighboring countries. From the Iranian province of Baluchistan, an overwhelmingly Sunni-populated area, a new separatist group announced its establishment on Oct. 11. Ya’n Allah, the Saudi host of Ahwaz the Forgotten, immediately began to publicize the group, both on television and via his Twitter followers. I reached the group’s media director in Bahrain last week. (He goes by Ali al-Mahdi, a name with a Shiite ring to it—a caustic joke for a Sunni militant who speaks about Shiites with great hostility.) He complained of too little backing: “We get support for [families of] martyrs, like from students … $500, $1,000 [at a time]. It’s nothing!” For the first time publicly, Mehdi claimed credit on behalf of his organization for the mid-October suicide attack near a mosque in southeastern Iran. “If we get [more] support,” he said in response to a question about Gulf donors, “you will see Baluchistan on fire,” he said, “like Syria and Afghanistan.” He added that if Iran makes good on its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, his group will attack the free port of Chah Behar, a key transit point for Chinese, Russian, and North Korean ships, so that Iran loses all southeasterly access to the seas.

Meanwhile, as Tel Aviv University’s Ofra Bengio noted last month, Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government now provides Iranian Kurdish opposition groups with a safe haven and the freedom to organize, train, and access Iran across its porous eastern border. Thanks to the KRG’s warm relations with the United States and Israel, the area may also have served as a connecting point for talks and cooperation between the two powers and Iran’s Kurds (or play such a role in the future).

As for Iran’s Azeri population, it is better-integrated into Tehran’s power structure than the other groups—Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei is Azeri himself—and therefore less likely to form a serious separatist movement. But this has not stopped the neighboring government of Azerbaijan from hoping otherwise: A parliamentary resolution was introduced this year to rename the country “North Azerbaijan,” implying that a “South Azerbaijan” should be carved out of northern Iran. The government’s present relations with the United States and Israel have never been better and hostility toward Iran never greater. Aside from the interest in its own co-ethnics in Iran, Azerbaijan also sponsors nationalistic Arabic TV programming and beams it into Ahwaz. (The larger context of Azerbaijani activities against Iran has been described elsewhere.)

The low-grade assaults this year perpetrated by ethnic minorities receive considerably less coverage than cyber-initiatives like Stuxnet and the assassination of nuclear scientists, but they nonetheless contribute to the bleeding of the regime. This regional proxy war, now escalating, is morally questionable: Should ethnic groups’ legitimate political aspirations be exploited for other purposes? Should attacks on civilian targets, such as mosques, ever be sanctioned? It is also strategically questionable: Will some of these dissidents go on to support a radical agenda and attack the West? Is the fragmenting of Iran into several states in the long-term interest of the region and the United States.? For all its tradeoffs, it belongs in both the public discussion and the quieter conversations about our next steps on Iran policy.


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“Locals allege that Tehran is also trying to
alter the demographics of the area by moving Persians there, much the
way Beijing has exported Han Chinese to Tibet.”

There’s another good example, but that will not be mentioned because likening the country in question to Iran would offend the readership.

“Will some of these dissidents go on to support a
radical agenda and attack the West? Is the fragmenting of Iran into
several states in the long-term interest of the region and the United

Going by history, the answer to the first question is yes. And how about asking the second question again, only replace the predicate with dismantling apartheid in Palestine.

    Monkish says:

    This article is about the troubling developments in Iran; the shadow war being waged by the West and powerful Sunni majority Arab states against the Islamic Republic. Instead of addressing the topic (about which there is much to be said, Iran being a politically and socially complex country – modern in many many respects) you draw dubious parallels with Israel. Why the Judeocentrism? Perhaps you should reflect on how well Churchill’s definition of the fanatic applies to you.

      T or F: My comment above was the first mention of Israel on this page.

      I actually did address the topic, by pointing out a creepy article like this would never be written about Israel. In fact, in the article’s own logic, Israel is the supposed beneficiary of all these calculations of using repressed ethnic groups against the Iranian regime. No one, least of all the writer, really cares how troubling Iran is for its minority groups.

        Monkish says:

        What’s creepy about the article? The author expresses concern that the strategy of sponsoring nationalist and religious secessionist groups in Iran might yield results that are undesirable – to say the least – to the West and detrimental to the liberalization and democratization of Iran. Neo-cons are not known for expressing reservations about covert actions against “axis of evil” countries. This is a salutary article. In your bizarre attempt to apply a “reductio ad Israelum” to it you complete miss the point. As Wikileaks proved, Israel is just one of a myriad of state and non-state forces conspiring to bring about regime collapse in Iran. Get with the news mate. Judeocentrism blinds.

          I’m aware that Saudi Arabia also has an interest in Iran. However, if you think my focus on Israel is “Judeocentric” (New way of saying antisemitic, apparently), take a look at some of the lines in the above:

          “The [Azerbaijani] government’s present relations with the United States and Israel have never been better and hostility toward Iran never greater.”

          “Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government now provides Iranian Kurdish opposition groups with a safe haven and the freedom to organize, train, and access Iran across its porous eastern border. Thanks to the KRG’s warm relations with the United States and Israel, the area may also have served as a connecting point for talks and cooperation between the two powers and Iran’s Kurds (or play such a role in the future).”

          So yes, there is more than one power out to destabilize Iran, however, in any mainstream analysis it’s apparent that the primary agent is a linked United States and Israel, the pairing used twice in the article.

          As to why the article is creepy, it’s basically the underlying assumptions:

          -We’re supposed to care about the benefit to the US and Israel; Saudi is an unsavory alliance of convenience. However, Israel is an unsavory regime as well.

          -Insincere questions like, “Should attacks on civilian targets, such as mosques, ever be sanctioned?” Gee, I bet the last time the writer asked that question was so not an attack in Israel.

          -Why even have an Iran policy when Iran is no threat to the United States given that the US keeps its military in its own hemisphere? Iran is only a threat to the projection of US power overseas.

          Had it been an analysis of the proxy war on Iran from an anti-imperialist perspective, I wouldn’t have called it creepy.

          Monkish says:

          The article is written by an American Middle East expert for a US-based Jewish magazine so naturally the focus is on Israel and US diplomatic and military involvement in the growing Iran crisis. Yet it contains information about the growing anti-Shi’a struggle, spearheaded by Saudi clerics and media outlets, and the potentially devastating effects in Iran. My criticism of your comment is that you choose to react only to that which it is familiar to you… namely all that confirms your (tediously parochial) picture of an international arena dominated by American and Israeli power. Unfortunately for your moral and intellectual comfort, this picture is increasingly belied by reality. Power in the Middle East since the first oil crisis, and at a dramatically accelerated pace since the fall of Ben Ali, is being radically reconfigured. As upsetting as it may be for you as well as right wing Americans, with whom you seem to share the fundamental but utterly un-empirical assumption of US military and economic global omnipotence (an odd mindset to be sure, probably the result of the heady post-Cold War 90s), US hegemony in the Middle East is now in serious decline. The right laments this fact, whereas the anti-American left celebrates it. The trouble for the left is, nature abhors vacuums, and extremely reactionary, right-wing forces are filling the void. Even a cursory glance at current political trends in the region show the massive expansion of Islamist influence fuelled by the economic might of the Gulf states, especially Saudi and Qatar. Saudi and Qatar may support different Islamist outfits, but the broad agenda is the same: to throw their financial and even military might (c.f. Qatar’s involvement in Libya, Saudi in North Yemen) behind bigoted narrow-minded ideologically fanatical Sunni forces wherever they take hold to the detriment of Muslim (Shi’a), non-Muslim (Coptic, Alawite, Orthodox) and secular minorities. This is Sunni imperialism pure and simple, as is attested by the fact that the recipients of Saudi/Qatari munificence are always Sunni sectarian organisations and that both gulf states shameless take sides and meddle in the domestic disputes of foreign countries. Now Sunni imperialism may promote a socio-political order radically at odds with the West (this is a matter of some debate), but since when is being against once imperialism but for another “anti-imperialism”?

          There are two options for people like you who buy into the tired old narrative of American/Israeli hegemony (I call Judeocentrism the closely related belief/conspiracy theory that Jews are behind every significant event that transpires. Not all Judeocentrists are anti-semities, but the belief is a central tenet of all anti-semitic theories): you can either bury you heads in the sand and carry on pretending that we live in the unipolar world of the 90s (and cling to the warm fuzzy feeling you get from opposing the great Americano-Zionist beast that strangely hasn’t crushed you for all its power!) or you can wake up to the bewildering and potentially very unpleasant world of American withdrawal and Arab-Sunni assertiveness. The former is a reassuring delusion (like your morally bankrupt equating of the Iranian regime and Israel – not even worth dignifying with a rebuttal), the latter is reality. You choose.

          “The article is written by an American Middle East expert for a US-based Jewish magazine so naturally the focus is on Israel and US diplomatic and military involvement in the growing Iran crisis.”

          Yeah, and the US and Israel just so happen to be involved. And a French Middle East expert would totally not care about any western involvement except that of France, France being the most frequent invader of Mideastern countries since WWII (Not counting Israel).

          “Power in the Middle East since the first oil crisis, and at a dramatically accelerated pace since the fall of Ben Ali, is being radically reconfigured.”

          For one thing, the ’73 oil embargo was a great thing for Americans, if you were in charge at Exxon. For small town gas stations, not so great. Western oil and defense contractors, especially the US, are so tied to the Mideast the spread of fanatical ideology doesn’t tell the whole picture. The USA is the #1 supplier of arms and its biggest customer is Saudi Arabia.

          “US hegemony in the Middle East is now in serious decline.”

          That really depends on how you measure power. For that matter, first we have to agree on what the US was trying to do by invading Iraq, since fighting terrorism and capturing WMDs is most certainly not the answer, and the entire span of the occupation is often taken as a sign of declining US power. Of course, the US did not capture Iraq for the same reason as the British in India or the Germans in Poland, so the success from the pov of the invaders can’t be assessed the same way. However, it is evident that American firms such as Exxon-Mobil and Haliburton reaped the harvest.

          I wouldn’t say US power in the region is declining so much as the struggle against it is now more intensified and can claim some concrete success, namely the overthrow of Ben Ali and Mubarak. But the military aid to Egypt is still flowing and the new govt. doesn’t show much interest in addressing the class inequities, plus the policy on Gaza is practically unchanged. Egypt’s current rulers still know what’s good for them, so the net change to US power there is basically shaken, not broken.

          “Now Sunni imperialism may promote a socio-political order radically at odds with the West (this is a matter of some debate), but since when is being against once imperialism but for another “anti-imperialism”?”

          You’re writing about this as if it’s somehow at odds with US imperialism. For starters, the US has never been against reactionary, bigoted Islamic movements ruling the Middle East, as the relationship with Saudi might have indicated. It’s against reactionary, bigoted Islamic movements who happen to turn against the US. It’s no big secret that the CIA armed the Afghan mujahadeen; that as late as 2001, a US firm Unocal had contacts with the Taliban; that foreign policy in the Mideast has revolved around Saudi Arabia and the Gulf kingdoms; that US media has downplayed the actions of the Syrian paramilitaries and their religious symbolism, plus the Syrian opposition groups are getting aid, and who knows where that’s going.

          “The State Department is sending a high-level delegation to an emergency aid meeting in London on November 16. Ambassador William Taylor, who was present in Doha, Qatar, where the new coalition was created, will lead the U.S. officials at that meeting.”

          Would you please go tell this guy US imperialism is overthrown by Arab-Sunni imperialism? Chances are good he’ll take it even less seriously than I did.

PhillipNagle says:

That policy is a two edged sword. Strengthening the Kurds of Iran, a positive objective, would indirecly strengthen the Kurds of Turkey and Iraq, undermining two regimes supported by the US. Strengthening the Baluchi of Iran would likewise indirectly strengthen the Balichi of Pakistan, an already unstable regime.

The West needs to develop it own energy reserves so as to stop enriching its enemies. In the meantime, the more energy Islamic barbarians expend on killing each other is less energy they have to wreak havoc in what remains of the civilized world. From the American perspective, four or five decades of intense intra-Islamic attrition may give us the breathing room we need to reinvigorate the West and eliminate the threat completely.

    What a filthy fascist racist freak you are..”eliminate the threat completely.” How do you propose to do that bomb them into the stone age with your own stone age dependence on them? Did your parents ever tell you that you don’t play well with other? Perhaps they should of.

      My, what a nasty incoherent illiterate reply.

      I very much doubt that you know what fascism is. You leftist twats merely use the term to mean people with whom you disagree. I suppose it it the inevitable result of what passes for public education these days.

      Islam has been a threat to Western Civilization from its existence. It is evil and malevolent. In case you haven’t noticed, it is also militant and violent. It was temporarily eliminated as a threat only in the 18th century by a combination of military resistance and impoverishment. The massive oil transfers occasioned by OPEC’s ability to maintain high oil prices since the 1970s and the West’s unilateral disarmament and moral decay under the control of the Baby Boomers has allowed Islam to become a threat again.

      One eliminates a threat by destroying it or rendering it harmless. Islam cannot be rendered harmless – and thus must be destroyed. The alternative is constant war. The Islamists understand this because it is in fact part of their religion. Unfortunately, morons such as you do not.

        “Islam has been a threat to Western Civilization from its existence. It is evil and malevolent.”

        Considering some of the activities of what you call Western Civilization over the millennium, maybe that’s a good thing. Between the enslavement of the Tainos by Cristoforo Colombo and the Nazi final solution, Western Civilization can claim innovations of mass murder Islam could never touch.

        Of course it seems invading Iraq and Afghanistan wasn’t enough destruction for you.

        ” The massive wealth transfers occasioned by OPEC’s ability to maintain high oil prices since the 1970s and the West’s unilateral disarmament and moral decay under the control of the Baby Boomers has allowed Islam to become a threat again.”

        In this very thread, I linked an NYT article pointing out that Saudi Arabia is the #1 customer of foreign arms sales from the US. Clearly, the people who run Boeing and Lockheed don’t share your view that the Saudis are going to threaten their neck of the woods. The OPEC countries drill for oil using infrastructure; a whole city in Saudi Arabia, Jubail, was literally built by a US engineering firm called Bechtel.

        Clearly you need some education about how the world works.

          Ah yes, another leftist useful fool who hates his own culture. No doubt you support abortion on demand and if not queer yourself you think perverts should have “marriage equality.” You would be one of the first victims of the Caliphate if your Islamic friends ever get their way.

          There are no words in the English language to describe your particular brand of stupidity. I blame your parents and the public school system. For you to suggest that I need an education on “how the world works” is risible.

          As my Jewish friends might say: Kish mein touchess.

          “I blame your parents and the public school system.”

          Actually, in my experience we’re educated to be somewhat aware of the facts but too apathetic and self-absorbed to really do much about it. I think your stupidity and utter lack of reading comprehension is contrived, since by reading my post you should be able to deduce it is not me, but Boeing and Lockheed, who have “Islamic” friends.

          Boing and Lockheed do not have friends. They have customers. Don’t be such an ass.

          Ha ha, you’re funny. Buying military hardware isn’t like going to Cabela’s. Those people can’t do business without having a cordial relationship, in as much they’re capable of having friends.

          Are you “friends” with your accountant? The Saudis buy our hardware because it’s its the best in the world and we give great tech support. If the French had comparable gear at a better price they would be buying from them. Friendship has nothing to do with it. As they say in South Africa: “Gaan kak in jou ma se moer.”

abcLeftrightLeft says:

Iran will not be weakened by these petty attempts at wedge fights…aka
proxy wars. A primarily problem is Iranian political structure doesn’t
lead to extreme isolation of any given group. Extreme isolation such as
forced exodus (see Libyan Transitional Govt handling of Christians as
reference). To create disharmony, outsiders must exasperate the
situation by interjecting outside “fighters” absent of localized
knowledge. Unlike Saudi Arabia where there is a policy of intolerance,
Iranians of different diverse groups can exist. Similarly is the case in
Syria. Although, Saud, Turk, and US also try to wedge this country
apart, the primary failure in both examples is a unified people under
one flag.

That’s the appeal outside agents see in pandering wedge fights, Sunni
poor are the fodder. Imagine if, say, in the US, political party X used
angry white males as their wedge, and party Z used disadvantaged black
and Hispanic youth as their wedge.But party Z attached angry white males
to the richy-rich cronyism of Wall Street. Doesn’t have to be truthful
for the wedge to be effective

Proxy/wedge wars are not foreign concept limited to Sauds, and if
anything, the US is perhaps the best at applying it. Even if the French
did the same thing nearly 100yrs ago as it used various ethnic groups to
fight in the Levant. The structure that came from this proxy model,
perhaps best noticed today in the French Foreign Legion, still to this
day carrying out some rather nasty little coups in North and Central
Africa. But, singling out the French seems unfair. After all, the Turks
under guidance from the Germans, convinced the Kurds to run roughshod
over ethnic Armenians. What was the currency back then? Oh, yes,
promised land, and of course, autonomy.

But autonomy, and this is a kicker, autonomy is a fight for nation.
That’s not the samething as the Salafist trying to overrun Iran or
Syria. They are fighting for ideology. The key here is nationalism
trumps ideology and Salafist don’t have an effective political model:
they are the wedge, the extremists. But if the wedge argument/fight has a
strong indigenous foundation, there is a chance war could go on for
decades. But, if the catalysts starts from outside, and there really is
no decent foundation, party z ends up an outsider trapped in a

Iran may be a big chip, but the fight to watch is Syria. Saud-US-Turk
wedge/proxy war is seriously challenged by a Republic that seems to only
be getting stronger in urban warfare. But that’s what happens when
outsiders misjudge wedge arguments and convince themselves (inductive)
the wedge is equatable to having solid native intelligence. Stalemate
counter-solution is sanctions. Rather than admit political incompetence,
cut off trade, aka smoke them out. In the meantime, disregard
sovereignty and employ co-option and wedge. over and over and over.
History of this model appears to prove instability not cohesion.But, if
instability is the point, for example, leaving room for a new “Ottoman”
reign to install itself, then maybe the Turk-Saud-US model isn’t
considered incompetent –at least to the outsider.

jubalbiggs says:

I am surprised the author didn’t address or mention the persistent Saudi fear of the same tactic being used against them. They have a restive Shiite minority living in some of their own best oil extraction areas. For years, the Saudis have been accusing Iran of trying to stir this population up and turn it against the crown.
I am curious, because it seems to me that the thing that has been keeping Saudi Arabia from openly adopting this kind of tactic in their long cold war with Iran years ago is that fact. Now, it seems the cost/benefit calculation has changed. Iran has no reason not to meddle with Saudi Shiites now, so perhaps this reflects intelligence the Saudis have concerning just how close the Iranians are to having a nuclear weapon and virtual immunity from outside open armed intervention. Or maybe they sense weakness, think the Iranian government is crumbling, and figure they can get away with it. Or maybe the test case of Bahrain has made the Saudis more confident that they can handle any internal problems from their Shiites.
Pretty important angle to miss in an article like this though.

superalien4peace says:

Though the article is generally speaking the truth but it has serious inconsistencies which makes it suspect. It is a well known fact that US has always allied with suicidal Wahabis to promote its interests in the region from Afghanistan to Libya. That is not something new. The same goes with Ahwaz here. These guys did not side with the most powerful Arab nationalist leader, Saddam Hussein during his invasion and that is the primary reason why that invasion failed. The acts of terror you see in Iran are all Wahabi in nature except those for Kurds which is a completely different problem shared between Iran, Turkey and Iraq out of which Iran is experiencing the least of the problem since it has traditionally always sided with Kurds against Iraq and Turkey.

As for the inconsistencies of the article, suffice to say all its information from within Iran is wrong. For example, all Iranians (even Jews and Christian minorities) have to study Arabic as a subject in schools. It is part of the compulsory education of all Iranians. There is no majority in Iran. The concept of ethnic majority of Iran is actually a western invention. Iran is a multi-ethnic society and no single ethnicity holds a majority at all. The supreme leader of Iran is himself an Azeri. Ahmadinejad belongs to central tribes of Iran with Jewish history. People from Ahwaz move around freely unlike contrary to what the article tries to portray. There are more Kurds living north of Iran (Tehran, Karaj, Qazvin etc), that actually live in Kurdistan. The Wahabi movement in Bauchistan has quieted down after Iran killed its leader Rigi who was heading Jundallah.

Such attempts to destabilize Iran will fail. You see, even if all the sunnis and so called “minorities” in Iran rose up, they will have to fight between themselves since almost all these “minorities” have Shia majorities belonging to the same tribe. What people do not get in their heads, is that Iran for Shias is like Israel for Jews. This is rather the first time in a long history that Shias have their own government in the form of Iran. Before that for 1400 years they were being tortured by the Sunnis and no Shia is ready to go back to those times. In fact as history is unfolding it is becoming clear that Shias all over the world, whether in Afghanistan or in Saudi Arabia are becoming more and more pro-Iranian. So chill out on this one. There are more terror attacks in US allied countries like Turkey, Pakistan etc than Iran. A few bombs do not prove anything. There is more separatist movement in Europe than in Iran.

superalien4peace says:

And this is how Shia Saudis think of their government. The point is Iran has more allies in Saudi than Saudi can ever hope to have in Iran. Watch this:

When Americans finally realize what hate speech is coming from Jewish magazines like this one…we will wash our hands of this hateful Israeli regime. You will be on your own, enough. Fight your own wars and when it’s over the United Nations will make Israel a World State not a religious fundamentalist bigoted state, which it is.


I’m Iranian

You had a very interesting talk on Iran

But Iran will not break!

Iran is the oldest country in terms of boundaries

And now the world’s top 17 countries in terms of science that comes from 10 years to 4 out!

You know what this means?


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Saudis’ Proxy War Against Iran

Ethnic minorities, backed by neighboring Arab countries, are ramping up assaults against the regime in Tehran