Interesting goings on in the Middle East. I wouldn’t have pictured a non-nuclear Iran as being a serious contender but I got to say that the Israeli papers: The Jerusalem Post, Israel National News, and the Times of Israel have all got me rethinking the entire game board. Even Fox News weighed in with a corroborating story this morning.

So the short story is, if any of these news stories are to believed, as in Iran is arming/advising and on the ground supporting the victorious Shiite rebels in Yemen then they’ve mostly got Saudi Arabia (and Israel) – for all practical purposes anyway – surrounded.

If so, Iran has now got troops on the ground in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and quite possibly Iraq.

So how is all this new? Well, Assad was able to keep their ally, Iran at arms length until ISIS showed up. The ISIS crisis opened the door for both Iran and their proxies, Hezbollah to get in country.  Now if Iran is in fact in Yemen then that gives them entree into the southern border of Saudi Arabia as well.

And if you haven’t been following the news – or aren’t a student of history – Iran (Shiite) and Saudi Arabia (Sunni) are enemies. And two, Saudi Arabia with their low oil prices, have been undermining the revenues of Iran (not to mention Russia, another regional player).

Saudi Arabia, as of yesterday, got a new king. Although he is supposedly going to maintain the existing status quo, e.g. low oil prices, and their existing relations with their existing allies, this change of command poses yet another variable in the region.

Saudi Arabia has been less than happy – so the stories go – with Obama’s lack of action concerning shutting down Iran’s nuclear ambitions. And now, to add insult to injury, the Kingdom of Saud is now surrounded by its number one enemy, Iran.

My guess would be that Iran isn’t going to do anything directly. I expect that they’ll continue to do two things. Continue increasing their grip on the region, squeezing like a boa constrictor. And two, let their eager proxies continue to do the heavy lifting. Hezbollah, armed with both a fresh grievance against Israel and so they say, the means – 150,000 projectiles – to prosecute said grievance, then it could be that they would begin a larger agitation from the north.

And the Shiite Yemeni rebels to the south, courtesy of their recent local victory, just freed up a bunch of resources to escalate their ongoing 5 year long military sorties into southern Saudi Arabia.

Now I am not a conspiracy theory kind of guy, although simplistically speaking a conspiracy is really nothing more than two or more guys plotting mayhem. Emphasis on the word, plotting.

No. What we got here are multiple events that have gone way beyond the conspiracy phase and now are deeply ensconced in actively pursuing the actual mayhem.

By my calculation, there are twenty-odd variables that are presently at play in the Middle East. And my guess is that one of those shoes is going to drop before Obama leaves office. Why? Obama is perceived as weak. Obama has in so many recent actions and words, reneged on the only real ally the US has in the region, Israel. Saudi Arabia is justifiably convinced both through the present administration’s treatment of Israel and their equal hand-jobbing of the Iran nuclear crisis that they are on their own.

So If I were the one up to re-landscaping the Middle East into a caliph-color of my own choosing then I couldn’t see a better possible time than now.

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