A number of the leaked diplomatic leaks published by wikileaks indicate the some GCC leaders urged a US attack against Iran.
Saudi Arabian King Abdullah is alleged to have called for “cutting off the head of the snake”, in reference to the Islamic republic’s regime. The UAE and Qatar have also been pushing for an attack against Iran.
Other cables from the US Embassy in Tel Aviv have exposed relations between GCC states and Israel, and that GCC states use Israel as a conduit to pass messages to the Americans.
November 29, 2010
Analysis and Forecast: Increasing Risk
The leaks are not only hugely embarrassing for a number of GCC governments, but are likely to increase the level of threat in various states, particularly those with large Iranian and local Shiite communities.
Whilst the most serious claim comes from Saudi King Abdullah, the position of the UAE will harm the already strained relations between the UAE and Iran. Trade between the UAE and Iran has already been negatively affected by the sanctions against Iran, as Iranian money has been moving eastwards towards countries like Malaysia. The greatest increase of risk, however, will be a possible straining of relationships between the local Shiite communities and the governments, in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, where there are significant local Shiite and expatriate Iranian communities.
In the event of an attack against Iran, the Iranians will more likely retaliate against those GCC who are now seen to be pushing for such an attack. It will be increasingly difficult for those states to publically condemn any such attack, now that they have been “outed” as encouraging it. This will also increase the chances of sleeper cells being activated in the event of an attack.
The figure below shows the GCC states with significant Shiite populations.