- Dhaka, Bangladesh, March 6, 2012, 1 a.m.—A Saudi diplomat, returning from a jog, is shot dead by an unknown assailant.
- Karachi, Pakistan, May 2011—Two armed men kill a Saudi official. Pakistani police suggest a radical Shiite group is responsible.
- In October 2011, American officials uncovered a plot they say was organized by Iran and aimed to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. The scheme appeared strange, almost ludicrous.
The press and the commentariat focus on Israeli-Iranian hostility as if nothing else were happening in the Middle East, but in fact the hostility between Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic is at least as influential in shaping events. Saudi Arabia and Iran are locked in a death struggle, and America’s Arab allies are as concerned as the Israelis about the need to deal with Iran.Those who ignore or minimize this side of the problem not only open the doors for anti-Semitic speculation about the supposedly all-powerful group of Jews directing American policy from behind the scenes; they cut themselves off from understanding the actual dynamics of one of the world’s most important and fast moving crises.