By contrast, current Iranian aggressive regional policies are driven by nervousness and the regime's lack of solid internal political support. In addition, the genocidal plans that Hitler had in mind and then implemented against the Jews have no equivalent whatsoever in the mindset of the Iranian leadership – nor any target group, for that matter. Those who planted this analogy in MbS’s mind knew that such a portrayal would appease Israel and cement a shared war discourse between the Saudis and their unlikely Jewish ally.

American troops in front of burning oil fields near Kuwait City in 1991 (photo: picture-alliance/AP)
Burning oil fields on the edge of Kuwait City: even after the end of the First Gulf War and the re-capture of Kuwait City by American troops in 1991, Saddam Husseinʹs badly weakened military arsenal was still in a position to target Israeli and Saudi cities. Iranian steadfastness and retaliatory capacity is likely to be even more robust, writes Khaled Hroub

A region on the brink

What would a war between a Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran, backed by the U.S., look like? It would, in short, mean Armageddon to the entire region.

Iran’s military and supporting groups in surrounding countries would be able to inflict great damage against adversary countries. Iranian missile capabilities would not be entirely destroyed in any massive first strike. Surviving missiles would reach, in addition to Israeli cities, major Gulf cities implicated in such a war, such as Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Manama and even the American military base in Qatar.

The vulnerable Gulf cities that have flourished on commerce and extravagant attractions would be soft targets. If part of Saddam Hussein’s badly weakened capabilities in 1991 remained operational and managed to hit Israeli and Saudi cities, Iranian steadfastness and retaliatory capacity is likely to be even more robust.

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