World War 3 fears: Iran-Saudi conflict enters ‘UNPREDICTABLE’ phase

Thursday, December 21, 2017
By Paul Martin

THE ONGOING conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran will become even more “unpredictable” in the coming months, experts have warned.

Thu, Dec 21, 2017

Developments in the conflict between Yemeni Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia amid Yemen’s civil war, in which the Saudis have backed the government, could destabilise the region, a leading analyst has said.

The ongoing conflict, widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, could become even more volatile in the wake of a missile fired at Riyadh earlier this week.

The attempted attack, which was intercepted mid-air over the south of the Saudi capital, targeted Saudi leaders in a royal palace.

Previous attacks have led the Saudis to accuse Iran of acts of war, as Tehran has backed the Houthi rebels and is accused of supplying their missiles.

Marcus Chevenix, Middle East analyst at TS Lombard, said the Saudis’ conflict with Iran had become “unpredictable” as the conflict continued.

He told CNBC: “I really struggle to predict what’s going to happen next.

“This is the first time for a very long time that there hasn’t been an external arbiter in the Middle East who basically defines everyone’s diplomatic relationships.

“For a long time it was America and Russia, then it was just America and now there’s no one.

“So there’s a power vacuum and that power vacuum is pretty recent. The Iranians saw it first and Saudi Arabia has only really been engaging in this kind of rivalry for the last five years.”

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