Many Enemies

12 01 2012

Category; Middle East, Media

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

There has been fevered discussion about who was responsible for the killing of an Iranian nuclear engineer this week; click here for a news report, or click here, or click here or here.

I say discussion, but actually everything I have read has assumed that Israel was involved; the only point of discussion is whether America was involved too. That’s lazy journalism; I cannot work out why no-one has mentioned another player in the region – Saudi Arabia.

There are at least three reasons why they should have joined Israel and America in the list of possibles:


It has been revealed by Wikileaks that Saudi Arabia has repeatedly asked the Americans to launch a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. King Abdullah is reported to have ‘frequently exhorted‘ the United States to attack Iran and ‘to cut the head off the snake‘. Click here for a news report on that.

Assassination plot

Earlier this year the American government uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to Washington. Click here for a news report on that.

Cold War

Saudi Arabia and Iran are engaged in a cold war-style battle between proxies for influence in the region; take for example Bahrain where Iran seeks to gain influence via Shia opponents of the government, while Saudi Arabia has sent its army in to quash unrest. Click here for a news report on that.


All in all, it’s enough to at least consider Saudi involvement in the assassination of a key figure in Iran’s nuclear programme. Why hasn’t it been mentioned?

That’s an open question; I don’t mean to imply some sort of conspiracy theory that it’s been kept out of reports; I don’t think that.

I have no idea why; it might be laziness or ignorance – a journalist not thinking beyond the ‘obvious’. It might also be for comprehensibility; you can’t cover every angle on every story, and readers like journalists to filter information for them.

Whatever the reason, it’s something that ought to have been covered in a story where the only certainty is that no one in the media has any idea who was responsible.



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