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Iraq Disintegrates
Saudi Arabia to US, Iran: Don't Interfere

Saudi Arabia is sitting tight while Iraq falls apart, and telling everyone else to do the same. On Wednesday the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, warned outside powers against interfering in Iraq, in a statement thought to be directed at Iran. Reuters reports:

Speaking at a gathering of Arab and Muslim leaders in Jeddah, Prince Saud urged nations racked by violence to meet the “legitimate demands of the people and to achieve national reconciliation (without) foreign interference or outside agendas”.

The Kingdom’s Ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, echoed that statement in the Telegraph:

We oppose all foreign intervention and interference. There must be no meddling in Iraq’s internal affairs, not by us or by the US, the UK or by any other government. This is Iraq’s problem and they must sort it out themselves. Any government that meddles in Iraq’s affairs runs the risk of escalating the situation, creating greater mistrust between the people of Iraq – both Sunni and Shia.

The Ambassador also denied Iraqi President Maliki’s charge that Saudi Arabia is supporting ISIS, saying that “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports the preservation of Iraq’s sovereignty, its unity and territorial integrity.” 

The Saudis are afraid that Western intervention in Iraq will draw the United States and Iran closer together, which might lead to an Iranian hegemony in the region. For now the Kingdom is warning its ally and its enemy: stay put and stay out.

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  • rheddles

    Sitting tight? They’re probably ISIS primary financial backer.

  • Andrew Allison

    The statement was, obviously, directed at the US which, predictably, did the wrong thing and is sending special forces to Iraq. The utter incompetence of this Administration’s foreign policy is mind-boggling.

    • Curious Mayhem

      I’ve noticed (not original to me) the nuttiness of Obama’s obsession with “democratic political Islam.” This has led us from one disaster to another:

      * The Cairo speech
      * Until it blew up, the backing of Morsi (which many Egyptians are convinced was attempt to destroy Egypt — it wasn’t intended that way, of course, and Egypt is one of those places with rampant conspiracy theories — but it makes you wonder at the incompetence — no, stare is a better verb, like staring at a preventable but awful car accident)
      * The backing of Erdogan until that blew up
      * The backing of the minority, Iranian-backed government of Maliki, until that just blew up.

      Obvious to most observers, but not to the geniuses in the White House, “democratic political Islam” is an oxymoron.

  • Arkeygeezer

    In the conflict to come, it looks like it is Saudi Arabia backing the Sunni’s, Iran backing the Shi’ite’s, and the Kurds. Who is going to back the Kurds?

  • Pete

    Isn’t there anyone in power in Washington to teach this dirty, fat Arab some manners? Is this what we’ve come to?

  • ChangeIranNow

    The quickly deteriorating situation in Iraq is so similar to what is happening in Syria where a strongman leader in Maliki, who has chosen to govern solely from a Shiite power base closely aligned to Iran, has actively alienated large Sunni and Kurdish populations in Iraq which is sparking this uprising. And just as in Syria, terror groups such as Al-Qaeda have sought to
    take advantage of the situation by jumping in.

    Iran’s decision to elect to send in troops from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is nothing more than a pre-emptive attempt to keep another regime upright that is falling to popular discontent and preserve the string of friendly governments it is seeking to boost in the region. Iran’s mullahs recognize correctly that their precarious hold on regional power under strict Shiite control is in danger of slipping and as such have to go all in to preserve it. It’s an old recipe for them they have already practiced in Syria for two years. The irony here is the perception that the West and Iran might both be on the same side of supporting Maliki which is a dangerous assumption to make.

    Just as backing other strongmen in the region has turned out poorly for the US, sticking by Maliki would also be a mistake. It should set off warning bells anytime the US and Iran find themselves on the same side of any issue.

  • Brett Champion

    If the Saudis were smart, they’d take this opportunity to try and mend fences with Baghdad by providing support to the Iraqi government against the radical Sunni groups looking to overthrow the government. While Saudi Arabia would certainly prefer a Sunni government in Iraq, one controlled by ISIS would do no one any good, especially the al-Sauds, who would likely be high on the list of ISIS’s next targets.

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