According to Saudi ex-Spy Prince Turki al-Faisal’s at a conference in Bahrain (January 17, 2012) , “Saudi Arabia will use “all available options” to defend itself against Iranian “threats” that might trigger “unwanted military confrontation”. (quoted in AFP, January 18, 2012)
“The mounting escalation and persistent tensions might end up in an adventure with unpredictable consequences or in an unwanted military confrontation.”
Iran has warned Western governments that it will close the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf, a strategic choke point for much of the Middle East’s oil, if they press ahead with sanctions against its key crude exports.
“Iran must not fuel this conflict and must not threaten us when we commit to international decisions,” Faisal said.
“It must neutralise the security of the Strait of Hormuz and that of the world energy supply,” said Faisal, who is also a former Saudi ambassador in both London and Washington.
But Iran, “our partner in achieving the objective of security across the region, based on peaceful foundations, has chosen a different policy that constantly undermines regional security and provokes foreign interventions, which it claims it is trying to get rid of.” (AFP, January 18, 2012)
Prince Turki al Faisal is a very influential figure in intelligence circles, who has worked in close collaboration with US intelligence.
His statement to the conference is explicit: “Any threat to our interests or security will force us to use all available options to defend our interests, and national and regional security,”
What does this signify?
Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States have a formidable weapons arsenal of F-15 combat planes, patriot missiles, Apache helicopters and warships (Made in America), which would be used against Iran on behalf of the US led coalition. (see The Gulf Military Balance in 2010: An Overview | Center for Strategic and International Studies)
The US has more than 30 military bases and facilities including its naval base in Bahrain, US Central command (CENTCOM) headquarters in Qatar, not to mention its military installations in Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan (see maps)
Turki’s statement, on behalf of America’s ally, suggests that Saudi Arabian forces in the Gulf will be fully mobilized in the case of a US-Israeli led war.
Michel Chossudovsky contributed to this report.