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Britain must side with the Saudis against Iran
The kingdom is a tried and tested ally with strong intelligence, trade and defence ties that benefit us
Shiite Muslims hold portraits of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, during a rally against his execution Photo: EPA
By Con Coughlin
7:28PM GMT 06 January 2016
The last time Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister visited London, the Foreign Office gave him a lecture on reconciling the kingdom’s differences with Iran, its bitter regional rival. Adel al-Jubair had arrived in the autumn looking for assurances from the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, that Britain’s long-standing strategic partnership with Riyadh would not be affected by the restoration of ties with Tehran.
“The Foreign Office and the rest of Whitehall need to make up their minds over whose side they are on”
Instead, the youthful Saudi diplomat was told that the Foreign Office wanted to use its new relationship to reconcile the two regional superpowers.
Mr al-Jubair was told that the British Embassy in Tehran, which had been officially reopened in August by Mr Hammond standing in front of a portrait of the Queen defaced with anti-British graffiti, could be used to aid the reconciliation process between the Saudis and Iran.
Given the deep-rooted political and religious schism that has developed between Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia in recent decades, it is hard to imagine how highly experienced Foreign Office diplomats could have misjudged the situation so badly.
For, rather than responding positively to the request, Mr al-Jubair stated bluntly that the Saudis had no intention of healing the rift with Iran.
On the contrary, he warned that, so long as Iranian officials were openly bragging about their mounting influence in Arab countries such as Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, the Saudis would not rest until all Arab lands were returned to Arab control.
The Saudis’ decision last weekend to execute the Shia cleric Shiekh Nimr al-Nimr, as well as 46 other prisoners convicted on terrorism charges, may have provoked the biggest crisis in relations between Riyadh and Tehran since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, but the tensions leading to this fissure have been evident for many months.
In Yemen, the Saudis and their Gulf allies have spent most of the past year fighting attempts by Iranian-backed Houthis to seize control of a country that the Saudis regard as falling under their regional sphere of influence.
It is a similar picture in Syria, where the Saudis are backing opposition groups committed to overthrowing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a close ally of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards. There have even been tensions between Riyadh and the pro-Western government of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose perceived close alliance with Iran resulted in Iraq’s exclusion from the Saudis’ recently formed 34-nation coalition to fight Islamic State (Isil) – a grave omission given that Iraq has a vital role to play in defeating Isil. So much for the Foreign Office’s naïve hope of persuading Iran and the Saudis to settle their differences.
Indeed, with relations between Riyadh and Tehran becoming more hostile by the day, rather than trying to play the role of peacemaker, the Foreign Office and the rest of Whitehall need to make up their minds over whose side they are on – the Saudis or Iran?
“When it comes to defending Britain’s national interests, the Saudis, unlike Tehran, have proved themselves to be reliable and effective allies”
A remarkable New Alliance continue’s to emerge in the Middle East. This is not a surprise to Bible Students as it is fully expected that the southern Arab Nations will support Israel in the latter days making up the King of the South based on Bible Prophecy. Whereas Iran will be with Russia and Europe when they invade the Middle East. This is what we read in Ezekiel 38.
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog (Heb. sig. ‘chief one’ eg. someone like Putin), the land of Magog (Germany), the chief prince of Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tobolsky), and prophesy against him, 3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: 5 Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: 6 Gomer (France), and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (Turkey) of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee. 7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them. (ie. Russia is to be a ‘guard’ unto these nations, so that they come under her protection.) As Ezekiel continues these nations are described as coming against the King of the South.
Yet again we see the latter day alignment of Nations as Prophesied by the Bible falling into place before our very eyes. See this article to learn more about this and the latter day prophecies of the Bible.