venerdì 18 marzo 2011

Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain: the tug of war.


The street protests in Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Bahrain, have exploded to coincide with Friday prayers on March 11. While the protests had a Saudi character much quieter than expected, tens of thousands of people demonstrated against the president in Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In Saudi Arabia, called for a first major test of its kind, the 11 March demonstrations were actually smaller than expected. Some groups of protesters have gathered, since the afternoon in the city's eastern province of Hofuf, Al-Ahsa and Qatif, a Shiite majority, and were fronted by an impressive security system. Occasion, the demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the release of Shiite prisoners and greater political freedom. Saudi riot police, according to sources, would have exploded rubber bullets to disperse crowds of protesters.
In Bahrain, the security forces have proved well-prepared to address the situation and have locked in time, a Shiite protesters march towards the presidential palace now showing the chosen line of firmness. Thousands of Shiite protesters on March 11 have taken the planned march towards the royal palace in Manama, but once it reaches the Sunni area of ​​Riffa, home to the royal palace, may have been blocked by security.
The Shiites who took part in the march movement belonged to the "Coalition for a Republic", composed primarily of members of the movement Haq and Wafa, both banned by the government. Brief clashes between protesters and pro-government Sunni forces have followed after that, according to sources, security forces have allowed it to pass through police lines and confront the demonstrators.
The movement of the Coalition for the Republic "was born from the split inside the Shiite opposition. This separation has led the moderate faction of the Shiite Islamist Al-Wefaq, to ​​seek a temporary alliance with the Sunnis who support the ruling house to keep the current government. While maintaining a firm opposition to the current government, Al Wefaq still considers it essential to maintaining the existing institutions and the monarchy, expressing thus its opposition to the underlying hard-line march 11 March
This phase in the history of the small island of the gulf can be opened a debate on Iran's role in the whole area. Iran, for some time, has chosen a covert strategy in relation to the Persian Gulf countries and particularly for what concerns the Bahrain where he helped blow up the recent unrest.
The game that the two main players concerned, Iran and Saudi Arabia are playing in Bahrain, in the wake of unrest in North Africa, has come to a focal point for the understanding of future arrangements in the entire area of ​​the Middle East.
All revolutionary movements have common characteristics and typical features, the unrest in Bahrain, which began with demands for greater transparency in the governance of the country, are moving toward a confrontation on the floor creed. This difference is likely the result of tactics of penetration of the Shiite community in turning this country from Iran.
The development of a policy of influence in the Persian Gulf is Iran's Shiite prime importance in this framework, it is obvious that the lever can only be the glue of fideistic Shiite communities in the Middle East chessboard.
In the recent past, this penetration is divided into several covert Activities for the widespread penetration of these communities aimed at establishing basic local proxies for the possible transition to a phase of open protest and revolt, in the case of Bahrain, in respect of the royal dynasty . This has responded to the challenge of asking the square and getting the intervention of the forces of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). These forces are mainly from Saudi Arabia that has been provided with this direct intervention has, in fact, Iran faced an important choice: to continue with a low profile but merely support the Shiite community, or up the ante by providing this' latest support of different texture, maybe in terms of military aid.
However it seems increasingly clear that Iran is destined to play a position of the first floor and is able to handle, even simultaneously, a number of critical situations by working on multiple tables simultaneously.