Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Persian Gulf

The study of geography is most often the best way to under political motivations. The swath of political unrest and destabilization now spreads from Morocco to Yemen. Two countries that have remained relatively stable in the region are Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saudi Arabia wealth is based on oil and it needs to keep oil production up in order to reap the benefits of higher gas prices. Political unrest is not in the Saudis best interest and as such, they have kept things quiet. Bahrain has been getting assistance in putting down their rebels with the help of Saudi Arabia.

In order for Saudi Arabi to move their oil, they have to use the Persian Gulf. The name implies who owns it but as you may or may not know, Persians are not Arabs and Arabs aren't Persians. Modern Arabs and Iranians consider themselves descendants of two powerful but distinct empires; the Arab Empire and the Persian Empire.

If you look at the map, you see Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman on one side and only one country on the opposite; Iran (Persia). The Iranian Navy is believed to possess sixty C-802 missiles aboard 15 Chinese and French missile boats. The C-802 is a Chinese manufactured cruise missile similar to the Exocet and marketed for use against naval escort vessels. The C-802 is characterized by `mighty attack capability, great firepower.' It has a range of 120 km [75 miles] and a high explosive warhead of 165 kg [363 lbs.].

Given this capability, the following report on Breitbart is all the more chilling;

He (Gen Firouzabadi) also denounced "plots" by the Gulf Arab petro-monarchies to "carve out an identity for themselves by rejecting the identity of others," referring to Iran.

"The Persian Gulf has always, is and shall always belong to Iran," the general said.

Firouzabadi, speaking on the annual "National Day of the Persian Gulf", also condemned the regional Arab monarchies for refusing to call the waterway between Iran and its Arab neighbours by its "historical name."

"With the arrival of the British and later the Americans in the region, plots were hatched to try and change the name with fake identities... to distort the history and identity of the Persian Gulf," Firouzabadi said.

Relations between Iran and its Gulf Arab neighbours have deteriorated sharply, with the latter accusing Tehran of seeking to destabilise Arab regimes in favour of popular unrest that has erupted in many Arab countries.

Shiite-dominant Iran has strongly criticised Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Sunni-ruled Bahrain aimed to help crack down on a Shiite-led uprising there.

Iran says it gives "moral support" to Bahrainis but is not involved in the protests there.

Bahrain and Kuwait have in turn expelled Iranian diplomats, accusing them of espionage.

Iran has in the past claimed Bahrain as part of its territory, and it controls three islands in the southern Gulf that are also claimed by the United Arab Emirates.

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