For years the Saudis have waged proxy battles against Iran, with little success. Now, despite this history of losses, Riyadh appears to be mobilizing for an ill-conceived confrontation with the Islamic Republic.
"We know we are a main target of Iran," speculated Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in an interview early this month.
Then came the threat. "We are not waiting until there becomes a battle in Saudi Arabia, so we will work so that it becomes a battle for them in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia."
These are fighting words indeed. The Iranians certainly thought so, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan responding with unusual ferocity: “We warn them (Saudis) against doing anything ignorant, but if they do something ignorant, we will leave nowhere untouched apart from Mecca and Medina.”
In other words, if the Saudis launch direct aggression against Iran, this will be Riyadh’s last war anywhere, ever.