Realism in Riyadh

Getting Saudi Arabia to take responsibility for Pakistan’s actions is in India’s interests

At a recent conference in Abu Dhabi on emerging powers and the Middle East, one of the arguments I made was that a stable Afghanistan requires a balance of two distinct sets of powers—India-Iran-Russia on the one hand, and China-Pakistan-Saudi Arabia on the other. Even so, I suggested, Saudi Arabia (and the Gulf Arab states) would be better off not wholly aligning themselves to China, because they would be better off by balancing the two Asian powers than hitching themselves to any one of them.

The Saudi Arabian government has unparalleled clout in Pakistan—not only does it have influence over almost all of Pakistan’s power centres, it is also popular with the masses. Riyadh has managed Pakistan masterfully. While there is a Saudi-Pakistan nuclear nexus (and a Saudi-China ballistic missile nexus) it is focused on Riyadh’s perception of the strategic threat from Iran. And while the Saudi Arabian regime continues to promote its version of Islam across the world—including India—it also recognises that global jihadi terrorism undermines its own interests.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, like any other state, is deeply interested in its own survival and security—just as it uses Islam to promote its interests, it has not shied away from putting down any threats to its own survival. It allowed French special forces to storm the Grand Mosque at Mecca in 1979, it allowed US forces to operate from its soil against Iraq and it has not allowed the Palestinian struggle to come in the way of a modus vivendi with Israel.

Given all this, it makes good sense for India to engage Saudi Arabia on managing the security threat emanating from Pakistan. Shashi Tharoor is right when he said “Saudi Arabia of course has a long and close relationship with Pakistan but that makes Saudi Arabia all the more valuable interlocutor for us” (via Smita Prakash/ANI). Introducing the special issue of Pragati in February 2009, we had argued that the dynamics of Pakistan’s relationship with United States, China and Saudi Arabia are changing and that “there is an opportunity for India to engage in bold, imaginative diplomacy to galvanise the international community to radically change Pakistan’s course.”

Recognising Saudi Arabia as an interlocutor on Pakistan brings Riyadh’s role above the table. India must compel the Kingdom to take responsibility for the actions of its wards in Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Even if religious solidarity, personal relationships and the nuclear nexus are factors that shape Saudi policy, Riyadh is unlikely to be insensitive to its overall geopolitical interests. In January 2006, The Acorn wrote that “Saudi Arabia is taking baby steps towards a different relationship with India. Though that may be too gradual for India’s liking, it is nevertheless a welcome development.” So too are the milestones scheduled to be highlighted during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s trip this week. [Related Links: Jyoti Malhotra in Business Standard, article & editorial in Arab News]

Just as the Saudis are better off hedging India and China, it is in India’s interests to balance the powers on either side of the Persian Gulf.

Tailpiece: Back at the conference, I challenged the conventional wisdom that it is India-Pakistan tensions (oversimplified to “Kashmir”) that stand in the way of Afghanistan’s stability. Rather, I argued, it is the US-Iran relationship that forces the United States to rely on a state that has opposing interests (Pakistan) and repulse a state that shares them (Iran). Lubricating a US-Iran rapprochement is in India’s interests.

32 thoughts on “Realism in Riyadh”

  1. unclear what exactly india can make ksa do wrt pakistan? do we have any meaningful leverage with them? Our long run interests are clearly divergent, there is little reason to believe ksa disapproves of pakistan’s india policy, there is considerable evidence that they actively support jihad in kashmir (and rest of india), so how exactly do we make/force ksa to play a role beneficial for us? As for making the master take responsibility for their ‘wards’, that depends fundamentally on the master sympathizing with your cause. Or owing you something. fail to see either in this case.

    As for iran vs ksa, iran needs india, ksa doesn’t. They play china off against US, not india. They got pakistan to take care of india. KSA’s international position is vastly stronger than iran’s, they don’t need india.

    As for the views of our Minister of Twitter, well.. he needs a PR crash course desperately.

  2. @Gbz,
    I have to agree with you – i dont really see why exactly India is trying to deal with the country from where Wahhabism and Salafism originated.These are the same guys who put the Taliban in power in the 90’s supplying the Pakis with cash for their training… so what does India expect from them ? Demand the Pakistani’s stop their assymetric war with India ?

    Also, talk about India “lubricating” Iran-US relationship is quite far fetchced – we are talking about two countries that have been at war with each other far the last two decades – besides we will definitely ANGER KSA if were seen helping the Iranians.

  3. The author of this article does not understand the concept of leverage in diplomacy. If we consider India to be the Dark Knight, then Saudi Arabia is the insane Joker. We have nothing to discuss with this rabid, insane nation which would have been a pariah in the world if not for the sea of oil underneath the gulf shores. Saudi has more buyers than it needs. Really the only leverage India has is playing Saudi against China over their influence of Pak and trying to bring Saudi to its senses. Its a poker game where India holds poor cards against someone with a full house.

  4. IMO, This is all about aligning interests sufficiently, so that actions done by other nations in their self-interests will also be in India’s self-interest. If India has no interaction with KSA, then KSA has no reason to be incentivized to do anything in India’s interest. Influencing the KSA is much more within reach than influencing the USA — the reasons are grounded in their long-term self-interests. It is not in the USA’s interests to have Asia at peace with itself, as it reduces US’s overall power and influence on events that affect Asia — an Asia that is in conflict will always have centers of power that would like the assistance of outside powers like the USA to assist in resolution of internal civil wars in a state. Without this excuse, the USA has no plausible/deniable reason to even have its army in mainland Asia.

  5. The byline is fine. But the question is what is in it for the Saudis.

    Anyway the whole red carpet welcome and the warmth given by Saudis (the entire Saudi cabinet all the seven brothers were there!) Plus the PM addressing the Majlis Shura makes me very suspicious and ask the question “Why the heck are tge Saudis doing this?” I don’t have good answers but some of my speculations (they don’t seem very convincing even to me but these are tge best I can come up with)

    1. The jehadi monster has turned full circle and Saudis are very afraid of the monster taking on the monster.

    2. Iran factor – yes US is doing it’s part in pressuring them but US also has little leverage being already preoccupied with two wars. Are the Saudis looking for a regional ally to help put more pressure in Iran?

    3. Plain trade – Saudi Arabia is now India’s largest oil supplier!

    4. Kashmir factor – is PM preparing for a “final settlement” with Kashmir that will be accepted by Paks and Saudis?

    5. Shift from oil – The Saudis realize they can’t depend on oil forever and want to make their economy much more broad based. Hence they want to leverage on India’s human, scientific and market potential?

    I am sure we will know in a few days what the real intent was.

    But I am happy to see India directly engaging with Saudi Arabia, realism indeed especially when they are rolling out the red carpet!

    1.

  6. You can bet your bottom dollar that there will be atleast one “USA is interested in eternal conflict ” post and sure enough it comes along just as night follows day.

    Let’s review
    A. The United States is the sole superpower in the world – it has legitimate interests in all major regions of the world, whether people like it or not. It needs a military presence in the Gulf just to protect oil shipments alone, forget every other conspiracy theory.

    B.It has a strong relationship with Japan, Asia’s largest economy , Australia and has offered its nuclear umbrella to all three. The US would like nothing more than a more peaceful Asia – its engagement policy with the Chinese beginning in the 70’s is a stellar example of this.

    C. It was never involved DIRECTLY in Afghanistan until after 9/11 – .Of course if you are conspiracy minded you can always speculate that Bush himself staged 9/11 so that US could get an excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

    And it desperately wants to get out of Afghanistan with a face saving exit.

    D. Its biggest debacle in Asia till date remains Vietnam (although AfPak could soon replace it)- a war that tore America apart – no one can think of any possible “economic” reason for this war with Vietnam -unlike say Iraq, Gulf War 1. And if people are keeping uptodate with the news , US is well on its way out of Iraq.

    E. American power comes more from its economic status rather than military power – infact without its economic power, its military power wouldnt amount to much.

  7. @Arvi,
    Points 3,4,5 look very interesting. A Kashmir solution is not totally out of the question. Our PM is ready for peace at “any cost” with Pakistan.

    I tend to discount point 2 – they are counting on the Israelis to deal with Iran. They have a back up plan with Pakistan helping them with nukes in case Israel cannot damage Iran’s nuclear program sufficiently. Besides India has very little if any leverage with certifiable nutjobs like Ahmedinejad, Khomeni and co

  8. @NS,

    “It was never involved DIRECTLY in Afghanistan until after 9/11”

    You should read up Steve Coll’s “Ghost Wars” before saying nonsense of this sort, and if you have, maybe your definition of “direct involvement” is different from the norm.

    “And it desperately wants to get out of Afghanistan with a face saving exit.”

    “Getting out of Afghanisthan” is not the same as “Getting out of Af-Pak” — given the level of hatred for the USA in Pakistan, the USA is not going to getting out of there any time soon. USA has evinced a long-term interest in “stabilizing Pakistan”, so the USA exiting Afghanisthan does not mean the USA will not remain in Pakistan — the USA has signalled every intent to be in Pakistan for the long term. Whether the US is successful in its plans is another issue, and will determine their eventual exit, but “honour, dignity, and face-saving” is not likely to be among the top reasons for them.

  9. @ NS

    If u think Ahmedinejad is the one in control of all things in Iran u have fallen for faux news propaganda is all I can say. Iranian system is much more complicated. Real power is wielded in Qom and even here there are “business interests” as with “moderate” Rafsanjani. Even Ahmedinejad is playing to the galleries, most people know that.

  10. Gee, my comments have invited feedback – atleast thats heartening

    @SR Murthy,
    I dont know how you define “direct involvement” – but for me it involves putting your military in a war with direct loss of lives and direct funding from the treasury to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. It also means having to deal with the politics of the war in public. You know when dead bodies pile up, you have to justify why you are still fighting

    Steve Coll book didnt reveal anything that the world didnt already know or suspect – US involvement in Afghanistan and picking one faction against an another is old hat – how ever these were covert operations – not what any one would call DIRECT INVOLVEMENT. The difference between the two is one of scale – something that is vital to a war being small scale or full blown – a difference you dont seem to appreciate.

    And no, they would have not been there in the first place but for the awesomely awesome Soviets who invaded Afghanistan first.

    As far as your confidence in America “staying” in AfPak for the long run goes, you definitely have more confidence than Obama himself. Not to mention a sense of obliviousness as to what the US is currently undergoing economically.

    The country is in a state of decline – its demographic disaster is a good decade away where there are more than 70 million baby boomers ready to retire and waiting for their retirement checks – entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security alone are enough to bankrupt the country.. and the US is supposed to be holding out in Afghanistan for the next 2 decades ? Yeah the American public would love that…

    You have no clue as to what the US public is most concerned about now (hint its not Afghanistan or Iraq) and how US public support is critical to any future US Govt involvement in wars.

    Obama went through a long and painstaking process of dithering before commiting 25,000 extra troops – that was meant to show the US public that he was taking this seriously- and as though to placate them he threw a bone saying that the US would start withdrawing in 2011 – not exactly the signs of a power that is here to stay for the long run.

    If the US is in Afghanistan for more than 5 years, something like another terror attack on NYC or another major American city like LA or Chicago has to happen.

    Remember how Vietnam ended – the Democrats cut off ALL war funding and US military personnel left Vietnam on choppers leaving millions of those who sided with them to the gentle mercies of the Communists.

    The US does not want to abruptly end its involvement in AfPak – this has nothing to do with honor – but everything to do with managing its decline as smoothly as possible relative to other powers in the world , mostly China.

  11. If u think Ahmedinejad is the one in control of all things in Iran u have fallen for faux news propaganda is all I can say. Iranian system is much more complicated. Real power is wielded in Qom and even here there are “business interests” as with “moderate” Rafsanjani. Even Ahmedinejad is playing to the galleries, most people know that.

    A’jad showed his power when he had the IRG ruthlessly crush the supporters of Mousavi following the sham elections in Iran.. This not “faux” propoganda… he has the military firmly on his side. Not to mention the Basij.. He himself is from the Basij.

    I dont deny that Iran has a complex power structure.. but A’jad has wielded more power than any other President in recent memory. He forced Khameni’s hand to back him on the election results – something that created deep fissures in the power centre at Qom that you are talking about.

    Rafsanjani’s power has reduced now – he tried to get his friends in Qom to delegitimize the Iranian elections – but he couldnt. Ahmedinejad is still President and the pro-democracy opposition has been subdued for now. These are not mean achievements in my humble opinion.

    Also i was careful enough to add that India has ZERO LEVERAGE with the likes of Khamenei and all this talk of lubricating Iran-US relations are far fetched – if i had mentioned only Ahmedinejad you have a point.

    But lets get to the heart of the matter here – if you think India has leverage with Iran, you need to explain how and why – forget who is in charge in Iran for a second – please tell me how India can help Iran and the US smooth over a 20 year old cold war.

  12. I never said India had great leverage over US Iran relations! Only a fool would say that! But u seem to believe that A’jad is in total control of that place. Which he is NOT notwithstanding the outcome of the recent elections!

    Now with reg to leverage of India over Iran, there might be some. After all Iran is India’s second largest oil supplier if I am not wrong (surpassed only by Saudi Arabia!). Plus if Saudis can roll out the red carpet for India why not Iran eh? Maybe PM’s next stop will be Tehran who knows!

    I also think if push comes to shove US would jus think about containing Iran. There will be no airstrikes or worse yet occupation! Question is what would Israel do. I think they will have to finally bend and live with it!

    A nuclear device in the hands of Iran is not a bad thing per se from India’s POV. The question is “Can India take advantage of it”?

  13. “Steve Coll book didnt reveal anything that the world didnt already know or suspect – US involvement in Afghanistan and picking one faction against an another is old hat – how ever these were covert operations – not what any one would call DIRECT INVOLVEMENT”

    @NS, various key warlords were handed millions of dollars in suitcases and handed Stinger Missiles — US and USSR were directly involved in conflict in Afghan territory. Your definition of “direct involvement” is bogus, so the rest of your nonsense makes no sense.

    “And no, they would have not been there in the first place but for the awesomely awesome Soviets who invaded Afghanistan first.”

    Umm…it was the cold war. Afghanisthan was just one of the theaters were the superpowers collided and directly assisted multiple parties in the war — without money and weapons, there would have been no war.

    War does not happen without money, military training, and weapons, and anyone who pretends that the financiers and backers of such wars, such as the USA and USSR in Afghanisthan are not “directly involved” are either liars or fools. Both sides had significant amount of forces in “Af-Pak” and Tajikisthan training and arming different sides of the conflict.

  14. NS:
    “You have no clue as to what the US public is most concerned about now and how US public support is critical to any future US Govt involvement in wars.”

    The US public is smart enough to know that leaving Af-Pak in the same state as it was in 1991 when the US exited Af-Pak the last time is a bad idea. The support for Af-Pak is more broad-based among the populace than the war on Iraq — the US cannot get out without resolving the situation in Pakistan. The last time the US let the Pakis alone, they caused 9/11, so this time Pakistan will either cease to exist or will somehow manage to become politically stable by Pakistani standards. My bet is on the former, since Pakistan is too far gone down the slippery slope of total Anarchy.

  15. US staying in the Af-Pak region long term (in effect getting bogged down there) if it happens is the best thing that could happen for India. Pak would not get it’s “strategic depth”. Afg would be stable (more or less, atleast it wouldn’t descend into the chaos that would occur if Taleban cam to power). Pak will be busy fighting the US and hence less time and enegy focused on directing terror attacks against India. Hopefully Pak’s own terrorists (non-state actors cultivated by state actors like ISI and Army) would get more and more frustrated because of the duplicity of Army. Win win win all the way for India.

    But if US jus gets out of the region things will become very bad for India with Afg being used as a “terror training ground”. Unless India itself has any plans for the region and can act on it.

    I doubt US will just pack it’s bags and leave in 2011 notwithstanding what Obama said. Too much is at stake for them as well.

    Even in Iraq I there will be residual forces of atleast 50000 in various bases throughout the country. It would be foolish from US’ part NOT to have them and jus leave the region abruptly (India would probably do that because it’s morally correct LOL!!). Plus if there can be 50K troops in Germany 50 years after WW2 why not 50K in Iraq? As long as they are safe and have nice facilities including airconditioning (which they do!) who cares?

  16. For example, the USA is now re-doing a strategic highway in Balochistan between Gwadar and South Afghanisthan as part of the TAPI pipeline. If this highway is build, the current NATO supply line between Karachi to North Afghanisthan will no longer be required, and with that the Pakistan’s value to the USA would become a lot less than it currently is. Pakistan’s leverage of the US war on terror will also decrease in such an event.

  17. @Arvi,
    I think you have taken the discussion somewhere else – i did not claim that A’jad was the biggest power center – i have shown that his power has only grown and is much bigger than what an Iranian President relatively has.

    Also you seem to be contradicting yourself – first you claim that it would be foolish to think India has any leverage over Iran-US relations. You then say it could have leverage over Iran because it is a big market for Iranian oil.. how exactly is this leverage going to be used by India ?

    Anyways you have conceded that India has next to nothing to offer for the Iranian-US mess – thats all i was talking about.

    A nuclear device in the hands of Iran is not a bad thing per se from India’s POV. The question is “Can India take advantage of it”?

    Actually it is a bad thing for India- for sure, our budding relationship with Israel would come under extreme strain if we are openly seen supporting a NPT signatory like Iran become a defacto nuclear power state.

    I cant see how India takes “advantage” of it.. It will only draw the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan closer.. not seeing much here.

    @SR Murthy
    various key warlords were handed millions of dollars in suitcases and handed Stinger Missiles — US and USSR were directly involved in conflict in Afghan territory. Your definition of “direct involvement” is bogus, so the rest of your nonsense makes no sense.
    I already agreed that a covert war was going on. And surprise of suprise wars need money, weapons… even covert ones..what is your point here ?

    Direct involvement involves
    A. open knowledge of the public that a war is being conducted in the nations interest ,

    B. authorization from the US Congress to the President to go to war..

    C. Funding for the war from Congress…

    D. Public support for the war.which is the key to point C

    This is not “nonsense” as you try to shove under the rug. This is my defintion of direct involvement.

    The US has been in all sorts of covert wars all over the world including in Latin America and Asia.. their entry into Afghanistan in the 80’s would not have happened but for Soviet involvement. Even then it happened largely in a very covert way thanks to Texas Congressmen like Charlie Wilson. It was not some great grand strategy against the Soviets..

    The US public is smart enough to know that leaving Af-Pak in the same state as it was in 1991 when the US exited Af-Pak the last time is a bad idea. The support for Af-Pak is more broad-based among the populace than the war on Iraq — the US cannot get out without resolving the situation in Pakistan

    This is the exact kind of wishful thinking that has put us on the spot today. Most people in the US would not be able to spot Afghanistan on a map let alone tell you what its strategic value is… post 9/11 there was a visceral “get those bastards” feeling that pushed them into Afghanistan. But today there is a wearniess to the war and a question as to what the basic purpose of the mission is.

    Belief in Karzai, Afghan Govt, police, army is at its lowest amongst Americans today. In fact most people in the US believe that Karzai basically scammed the elections last year and think that he is corrupt.

    I have lived in the US for the last decade and have a pretty good feel for the country and its people – all politics is local, as they say here in America.

    You can go to the websites of the NYT, WaPO, Wall Street Journal today and find out what exactly is the topic du jour – it could be anything ranging from the healthcare reform process attempted by Obama to the double digit unemployment that is now threatening to stay for a rather extended period of time.

    So, in short Americans are first and foremost concerned about what his happening to them in their day to day lives – employment, affordable heath care , outsourcing concerns etc.

    They dont have unlimited patience for a war that is stretching into its ninth year with VERY LITTLE results to show for.

    Public support is the single most essential thing in the US to back a very long and protracted war such as this one where there is very little success to show for..And it becomes even more difficult to support spending on a war when you have so many economic problems back home.

    Obama’s vision is to contain America’s decline in power – and America IS a declining power…he is more than ready to leave Afghanistan – he just does not want to leave it like they did in the 80’s.

    And if there is another attack on the US like what happened on 9/11,and the US traces it back to AfPak – Pakistan may very well be bombed back to the Stone Age as Musharaff was threatened on 9/12.

    Also it is in Pakistan’s interest to keep a tighter leash on Afghanistan and not let 9/11 type of attacks happen again – in return it will take the bribe money to the tune of billions of dollars from the US like it already has.

    Indian foreign policy experts should keep all this mind and not fervently hope that the US is going to stay at any cost until it uproots the hydra headed monster. Sorry, even Superman has Kryptonite to deal with.

  18. @NS

    Again as I said b4 if the Saudis can throw the red carpet for India and pull a “charm offensive” why not Iran? Who gives a heck about US-Iran relations? As I said b4 if push comes to shove US will jus live with a nuclear Iran.

    India should manage and balance it’s relations with Israel, Iran and KSA without “upsetting the AppleCart” with anyone!

  19. @Arvi,
    Iran is in quite a bit of turmoil as of now – following the opposition protests, the regime is trying to stabilize itself – it may come back to India later on , ESPECIALLY if US is leaving AfPak with the MJC/Taliban axis in power.

    India should manage and balance it’s relations with Israel, Iran and KSA without “upsetting the AppleCart” with anyone!
    That indeed would be the 21st century of the Great Indian RopeTrick (assuming that such a trick actually exists !)

    I dont think the US is going to do much about a nuclear Iran. i agree with you on that. I dont think the US can do anything about Iran given its current mess in all areas.

    But not so, the Israelis – this is an existential question for them. I pray and hope that opposition movement in Iran gains power – this would result in some cooling down of Iran-Israel relations and give India a chance to build better relations with both.

  20. @NS “This is the exact kind of wishful thinking that has put us on the spot today. Most people in the US would not be able to spot Afghanistan on a map let alone tell you what its strategic value is… post 9/11 there was a visceral “get those bastards” feeling that pushed them into Afghanistan.”

    That is not wishful thinking — there are people in the USA whose views are taken seriously by the govt. and their views are what should be observed, not the guy standing in line to get tickets for the next show of “Avatar”.

  21. “A. open knowledge of the public that a war is being conducted in the nations interest ,

    B. authorization from the US Congress to the President to go to war..

    C. Funding for the war from Congress…

    D. Public support for the war.which is the key to point C”

    Riight…”direct involvement” should be redefined to bolster your argument rather than how it is normally done — to reflect “involvement” via “direct” means, i.e., money and training.

    Why don’t you spell out how any one on this planet can fight a war in another country without providing money, means, and training? Because unless you can spell that out, everything you have said is trash.

  22. @NS wrote:”already agreed that a covert war was going on. And surprise of suprise wars need money, weapons… even covert ones..what is your point here ?”

    My point is that you need to cut the crap and acknowledge your ignorance, because most of what you write is ignorant horsecrap, and I mean that in a nice way.

  23. Opposition or not everyone who has a decent shot at regime formation wants to get the nukes. Including the “Green Movement” guys.

    I also don’t think that despite the rhetoric Israel will do something against US interests. So ultimately they too will have to live with a nuclear Iran (if Iranians develop that capability which is still a BIG IF IMO)

  24. To be clear, NS’s points A through D are pre-requisites for “Declaring War”, and NS is cleverly trying to re-define “direct involvement” as “declaring open war”.

    However, while “open war” implies “direct involvment”, “direct involvement” does not imply “open war”, which is the reason NS’s “argument” is trash.

  25. NS – I noticed your receiving some “smart” responses; although not very polite 🙂

    Murthy – For your quick review – http://www.answers.com/direct+involvement?gwp=11&ver=2.4.0.651&method=3

    I suggest you read the blurbs for a feel of what Direct Involvement means as against Covert Operations.

    Arvi – I think if Israel had been supportive of US interests always, it would have agreed to a settlement of the Palestinian issue quite some time back.

    You will appreciate that in this case, it is Israel that’s leading the US.

    So Israel is not a yes-man. It might likely not wink at the US position on Iran too.

  26. I suggest people think about “involvement” in real terms (go look up a dictionary if you are not familiar with the meaning) before coming up with BS for “arguments”.

    Hair-splitting about the meaning of “direct involvement” distracts from the main point that USA has been in Afghanisthan since 1978, and no amount of arguments and reasoning can change that fact. So let us cut out this distraction about “direct involvement” and other convenient word re-definitions as a substitute for reasoning.

  27. Thanks Murthy.

    That’s a fun way of saying, “yeah, your right and I admit I was wrong”.

    NS, over to you Sir!

  28. Ahmedinejad is around because the Hojatolislams (the Iranian clerics in the ruling council) want him around — if the clerics can be incentivized in their own self-interest to move away from the Ahmedinejad stance, then Ahmedinejad will be out of the scene. People who do not understand this internal dynamic in Iranian politics are liable to speak nonsense when they analyze the actions of Iran.

  29. @ Palahalli
    I never said Israel was a “yes man”. Do not CONFLATE my posts and interpret whatever u want.

    If anyone thinks that Israel will hit Iran against US interests or will somehow force US into that option he is living in la la land! The Jewish lobby is powerful but NOT THAT powerful.

    Anyways enough said! I am done here. Like another poster said “We are splitting hairs here” and it’s becoming a “tu tu mein mein” contest LOLZ.

  30. The Hojatolislam are very patriotic Iranians and are not looking out for their self-interest. It is just that their definition of Iranian National Interest is a little bit twisted from the norm.

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