It is clear that tensions are rising between Gulf States and Iran. The rhetoric has been ratcheted up over the past months while the Arab Spring has taken on a decidedly different tone in most countries throughout the Middle East. This article from Reuters hints that the build up of arms between the Gulf and Iran is a new Cold War. I argue that its one we haven’t noticed fully until now but has been brewing for quite some time.
It is unknown whether these tensions are between the actual countries in the area, between Iran and the West, or part of an even larger conflict. It is clear that in Iran, there are numerous actors at play, all of whom seem to be butting heads lately. Ahmedinijad disagrees with the Ulema and there seems to be no real handle on who is exactly in control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Perhaps they act on their own. The disagreements within this country make the region all the more volatile.
Many involved with the protests in Bahrain say there is no evidence that Iran is stirring up trouble, even though the Bahraini regime suggest Iran is playing a large hand. It is my belief that Iran should be watched closely. Given its history, I would not be surprised if Bahrain was capable of covering up its role, however small it may be, in these otherwise peaceful protests. The bombing outside the embassy suggests this, although it seems to be amateur. However, one need not look further than the events at Khobar Towers, Iran’s role with Hizbollah and Hamas, as well as their work to undermine U.S. presence in Iraq. It is clear that if they wanted to play a role in the Bahraini protests, they could. As these protesters become more desperate, they may turn toward Iranian help.