Iran: A tale of a bad neighbor

But what can done with a neighbor who "believes" abusing you is a duty they must uphold?

Mashari Althaydi
Mashari Althaydi
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Saudi Arabia has been the target of Ayatollah Khomeini's antagonism since 1979, when Khomeini's mullahs took over the Iranian state.

This can be seen through the principles of Khomeini's followers; they are the “supporters of God” (Ansarullah), the “party of God” (Hezbollah), the “hand of God,” and “under the command of God.” These are all well-known names and phrases related to Iranian activities.

The following is a list of events detailing Iranian attacks against Saudi Arabia since 1979:

Incidents throughout the 1980s:
• A group of Iranians protested in front of the Prophet's Mosque in Madina and raised photos of Khomeini.

• 21 Iranian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia armed with weapons and explosives were detained.

• Iranian demonstrators in Tehran stormed the Saudi and Kuwaiti embassies and set them on fire, attacking and detaining Saudi diplomat Reda al-Nuzha.

• Militant group Hezbollah al-Hejaz, which is loyal to Iran, set fire to an oil installation in Ras Tanura in eastern Saudi Arabia.

• Hezbollah al-Hejaz attacked the at the Sadaf petrochemical plant in the industrial city of Jubail, also in eastern Saudi Arabia.

June 1996:
• Hezbollah al-Hejaz blows up a residential compound in Khobar, eastern Saudi Arabia, and Ahmed al-Mughassil, the cell's leader and the mastermind of the attack, flees to Iran.

August 2009:
• Iran's Supreme Leader Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launch flagrant media attacks against Riyadh due to Saudi Arabia's confrontation of Houthi aggressors on its borders.

March 2011:
• Iran's supreme leader uses inciting religious rhetoric to attack Saudi Arabia after Peninsula Shield forces entered Bahrain, upon Manama’s request, to deter an Iranian coup attempt under the ruse of the Arab Spring.

April 2015:
• Khamanei escalates his political religious speeches against Saudi Arabia after Riyadh launched “Operation Decisive Storm” against Iranian-allied Houthis in Yemen.
January 2016:

• Agents of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards attack the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in Mashhad and set them on fire. This came after Iranian regime symbols threatened the kingdom over its execution of preacher Nimr al-Nimr, leader of the Awamiyah militia in eastern Saudi Arabia, and ignored the fact that 40 al-Qaeda members were executed alongside him.

This is a summary of decades in relations with the Iranian regime, a bad neighbor. The Saudi response came in two days and it was as such: Cutting diplomatic ties with Iran, expelling Iran's diplomatic mission from Saudi Arabia, suspending flights to Iran, suspending all forms of trade with Iran and banning Saudis from traveling to Iran.

Saudi Arabia still has many responses to direct towards Iran’s insolence.

A tense relationship with neighbors is not something wished upon by anyone. Any reasonable person should be keen to find a means of cooperation with their neighbors. But what can done with a neighbor who "believes" abusing you is a duty they must uphold?

It is now time for Saudi Arabia to respond.

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Jan. 6, 2016.

Saudi journalist Mshari Al Thaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Al Thaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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