30.11.06

Saudi prepares to intervene in Iraq

Middle East Online:
Using money, weapons or its oil power, Saudi Arabia will intervene to prevent Iranian-backed Shiite militias from massacring Iraqi Sunni Muslims once the United States begins pulling out of Iraq, a security adviser to the Saudi government said on Wednesday.

Diplomats and analysts say Iraq's Sunni Arab neighbors, led by heavyweight Saudi Arabia, fear that the sectarian violence could spill into large-scale civil war between Shiites and Sunnis and set off a political earthquake far beyond Iraq.

Nawaf Obaid, writing in The Washington Post, said the Saudi leadership was preparing to revise its Iraq policy to deal with the aftermath of a possible US pullout, and is considering options including flooding the oil market to crash prices and thus limit Iran's ability to finance Shiite militias in Iraq.

'To be sure, Saudi engagement in Iraq carries great risks - it could spark a regional war. So be it: The consequences of inaction are far worse,' Obaid said.

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