Saudi options vis-à-vis Iran

September 28, 2019
Saudi options vis-à-vis Iran
Osama Yamani

Undoubtedly, Iran with its history of provocation, aggression and hostility favors the option of war because it believes that this will enable it to set the entire region on fire and make everyone pay a heavy price. This will then give Tehran the opportunity to sit at the negotiation table and try to tip the scales in favor of its own interest.

Iran loses due to the no war option in the medium and long term, because its economic situation is worsening day by day. Furthermore, it may also lose the sympathy of countries, such as Germany, Russia and China that trade with it.

The no war option will also contribute to exposing the falsehoods promoted by the Iranian media machine, as well as its allies and sympathizers.

In this way it will be made clear that there was never any justification for Tehran’s interference in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq except aggression and its wish to expand its sphere of influence. Iran is in a real quandary because it cannot justify its violations, attacks and threats to the global economy, security and peace.

Even Iran’s friends will not be able to defend it in international circles due to the gravity of its previous and present actions. Saudi Arabia has several legal, political and economic options, apart from the option of a deterrence that can make the price of Iranian aggression extremely costly.

War should not be a Saudi option because this is precisely what Tehran wants. Iran is a rogue state that is doing its utmost to spread turmoil and sedition and no one is safe from its evil and harm.

Saudi Arabia has several options, some of which it can act on simultaneously. We in international circles can discern the impact of Saudi diplomatic moves to make the world shoulder its responsibility to protect sources of energy and international shipping lanes and to curtail the destabilizing Iranian influence in the region and the world.

The Kingdom’s demand to tighten the economic sanctions on Tehran even more is one of the most important options with which Saudi Arabia has made progress. Furthermore, carrying out strikes against Iran’s proxies, tightening the sanctions against them and evicting Iran from Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon is a responsibility that must be shouldered by the world community.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia, which has the full right to defend itself, has proved its political wisdom in refusing to allow Iran to provoke it with its aggression and hostile actions.

The call to convene an Islamic conference in order to take punitive measures by Islamic countries is in implementation of the Qur’anic verse: “And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both, but if one of them rebels against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which rebels till it complies with the Command of Allah; then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allah loves those who are equitable” (49:9).

The response to Iranian aggression can be economic and political. There are many options and as a result, we should not restrict ourselves to only one. War is not an option, but with firmness and determination, the enemy must be made to pay a heavy price for his aggression.

The author is a Saudi legal adviser and writer. Follow him on Twitter: @osamayamani

September 28, 2019
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