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Iran can strike Saudi Arabia but should it?

by Adam Garrie

One of the reasons that Qatar is so easy to single out as a state sponsor of terrorism is that they readily admit much of it. The rest is fairly easy to unearth and that’s before one examines copious amounts of evidence from Wikileaks.

Wikileaks and other sources, including of course the common knowledge of Arabs from the Gulf to the Maghreb are also fully aware that Saudi Arabia is if anything an even bigger sponsor of terrorism than Qatar due to its greater size and wealth.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have accused Saudi Arabia of being behind the recent devastating terrorist attacks on Tehran by virtue of the fact that ISIS, a group with known links to the Saudi regime and to Saudi money, has claimed responsibility.

READ MORE: Iran’s Revolutionary Guards say Saudi Arabia is behind terrorist attacks in Tehran

Insofar as this is almost certainly true, Iran does have legal resource which it can employ to justify military action against Saudi Arabia. Whether military action against the mad Wahhabi Kingdom is prudent or not is another matter.

If Iran can find indisputable proof of Saudi’s connection to the terrorist attacks, Iran ought to go before the United Nations and ask for the authorisation of limited military action against Saudi targets. Of course, the US would veto such a move,  but it would at least set an important precedent before an international body.

Barring that, Iran could potentially invoke the Caroline Test, an item in international law which allows a country to engage in limited strikes against a state which is threatening the peace and stability of the nation which seeks to invoke the test.

It was the Caroline Test which served as one of the legal justifications for Egypt’s recent bombing of terrorist targets in eastern Libya. Iran even now has at least enough evidence to link Saudi with anti-Iranian terrorism as Egypt did to link Libya with terrorist attacks on Egyptian soil.

READ MORE: Egypt’s intervention in Libya is legal–here’s why

However, even if Iran did legally attack targets in Saudi Arabia, it still might not be the best move for Iran.

The reason is simple, Saudi’s major allies are among the most well armed, violent and well-known war criminals in modern history, first and foremost the United States.

Thus far, the US has not been so foolish as to wage war on Iran, but America cannot be relied on to exercise restraint even for the sake of self-preservation.

Therefore, if Iran were to for example launch airstrikes on financial and military targets in Saudi with links to international terrorism, it would increase the probability of America launching strikes on Iran, something Iran doesn’t deserve and certainly does not need.

Iran is sadly in a position where it is damned if it does and damned if it does not. This is what happens when countries like the US and Saudi who violated international law have the upper hand against countries which obey international law.

This is the sad reality of the 21st century.

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