Saturday, September 26, 2015

All Your Holy Site Are Belong To Us

Iran and Saudi Arabia are rivals--on either side of the Shia-Sunni divide--for dominance in the Persian Gulf region. The massive loss of life in this year's pilgrimage feeds the rivalry by giving Iran justification for their desire to control the holy sites of Islam that are in Saudi Arabia.

This is tragic and a foreign policy issue:

Saudi Arabia, under growing pressure to account for a crush that killed more than 700 people at the haj pilgrimage, on Friday suggested pilgrims failing to follow crowd control rules bore some blame for the worst disaster at the event for 25 years.

The kingdom's regional rival Iran expressed indignation at the deaths of 131 of its nationals at the world's largest annual gathering of people, and politicians in Tehran suggested Riyadh was incapable of managing the event.

If Iran hopes to lead more of the word's Moslems than the small minority of Moslems who are Shia would suggest is possible, Iran would need to control the holy sites for all Moslems that are in Saudi Arabia.

To do that would require the destruction of Saudi Arabia, of course, which won't go willingly.

Say! Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons with our blessings, now aren't they?

UPDATE: Proxy wars may be just business, but the holy sites and pilgrims make it personal:

Today, Iranian and Saudi participation would be crucial in stabilizing Iraq, Syria, Yemen or Lebanon, where the two sides back sectarian proxy forces that are either at daggers drawn or openly at war in conflicts killing thousands each month.

Riyadh also accuses Tehran of fomenting trouble in Bahrain and even Saudi Arabia itself. Tehran accuses Riyadh of plotting its destruction with Washington.

It's kind of funny. We gave away the store to Iran with the nuclear deal and they still think we are plotting their destruction.

UPDATE: At least Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons:

"Saudi officials are failing to do their duties," Khamenei said in a speech to graduating navy officers, following delays in the return of at least 239 Iranian bodies, accusing some of them of "slyness".

"They should know that the slightest disrespect towards tens of thousands of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca and Medina and not fulfilling their obligation to transfer holy bodies, will have Iran's tough and fierce reaction."

Well, Iran doesn't have nukes yet, anyway.