Expert says Iran to hit back at Gulf States, if attacked by U.S. or Israel

Posted on March 29, 2012

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If either Israel or the US were to attack Iran, the Islamic republic’s response could well involve Iranian strikes against Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Senior fellow at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, James M. Dorsey said.

“Iran has threatened in the past to block the Strait of Hormuz but has refrained from doing so in a bid not to escalate tension and to avoid a military response,” Dorsey added.

Earlier, U.S. President Barack Obama, speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, warned North Korea and Iran that their options are few and their friends fewer as those nations refuse to back down from actions the world sees as menacing.

Israel accuses Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons and hasn’t ruled out a military strike to head off further development. Iran, in turn, denies it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, and insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful uses such as generating electricity.

Speaking about Iran’s response towards Saudi Arabia’s increasing oil exports, the expert said the countries may see their relationship deteriorated further.

“Iran and Saudi Arabia are already at loggerheads, and Islamic Republic’s response will be in the larger context of its response to the sanctions and will depend on how the dispute evolves,” Dorsey said. “Iran’s response for example will be different if pressure is limited to sanctions rather than military action”.

Asked whether Iran’s rapid militarization is connected with the fact that the U.S. has a lot of military bases in the region, Dorsey admitted there are other important factors to consider as well, aside from U.S. military bases.

“The bases are all but one factor. What is more important is the sense of being under threat by both the U.S. and Israel, anti-Iranian attitudes in the Gulf,” Dorsey said. “Iran will also suffer a setback with the eventual fall of the Assad regime in Syria”.

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