Influence in the Middle East: US-supported Saudi Arabia or Iran?

It is known that the main goal of the US military presence in Saudi Arabia is to exert pressure and counteract the Middle East rival Iran.

In this regard, according to a statement by Donald Trump in a letter addressed to Nancy Pelosi, an increase in the size of the military contingent and the deployment of new forces in Saudi Arabia will take place “in the coming weeks”. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that such actions by Washington lead to “escalation of tension” in the Persian Gulf region.

“The first part of these troops has already arrived in Saudi Arabia, the remaining forces will be deployed in the next few weeks. Together with an additional contingent, the total number of US forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be approximately 3 thousand people”, – the letter says.
According to an expert at the International Institute for Humanitarian and Political Studies, an increase in the American contingent in Saudi Arabia, Trump shows that his course on “providing even more power to the United States” is unchanged. In addition, he notes that the head of the White House pursues an inconsistent policy, first announcing the withdrawal of US troops from several countries in the Middle East, and then expanding the American continent in other states of the region.

Nevertheless, according to the report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies “Iran’s Middle East Influence Networks,” Iran wins the strategic struggle for influence in the Middle East over Saudi Arabia, exerting a great influence, in some cases bordering on control, on the internal politics of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. This is facilitated by the fact that Iran has a network of non-governmental alliances throughout the Middle East.
The fact that Iran currently has such an extensive and geographically dispersed network of alliances gives it ample opportunity to conduct operations in nearby territories: from missile and unmanned attacks or ambushes against the US military in Iraq to sophisticated cyber attacks aimed at Israel or the Arab Gulf countries.

The bottom line is this: after 40 years of stable hiring, financing and arming its network of alliances, Iran is now in a much stronger position than it might seem.


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