April 14, 2016 | Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Analysis: Saudi-Egypt deals part of Gulf effort to unite Sunnis against Iran

Recently signed agreements between Saudi Arabia and Egypt appear to be part of a broader Saudi effort to build a regional Sunni alliance against Iran, yet the results of such an alliance are still lacking.

The Saudi-led coalition battling the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, moves by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to crack down on Hezbollah, and Gulf funding to Syrian rebels, are the strongest actions taken to date against the Iranian led Shi’ite alliance.

However, in terms of a broad military alliance that could prove effective against Iran and its allies, Saudi success is debatable.


“The Saudis set up a headquarters for their Islamic counterterrorism alliance earlier this year, but their announcements of ad hoc coalition building still seem to be more talk than action,” David Andrew Weinberg, a specialist on Gulf affairs and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

“The Saudi-Egyptian initiative for a joint army against terrorism under the Arab League still lacks specificity or broader support, so it seems unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon,” he said.

“Besides, Sisi’s Egypt is too close to Russia to do anything of consequence against Iran in Syria, anyway.”

“While Egypt is providing some support to the Saudi-led effort against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, Cairo disappointed Riyadh by providing far less than the Saudis had originally hoped for,” added Weinberg.

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Egypt Iran