CIMUN Chronicle / Article / 2016

SAUDI-IRANIAN TENSIONS RISE WITH FAKE NEWS ALLEGATIONS


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By Charlotte Neumann, The Guardian

The long-standing Saudi-Iran conflict may escalate further with new anonymous allegations surfacing. An unnamed Saudi Arabian source claimed that Iranian tactics “sink to the deepest levels” when asked about Iran’s involvement with fake news, and said that “we will protect the middle east” with any means necessary. Saudi Arabia claims to be wary of Iranian intentions, and is “willing to overcome”.


On the other side of the conflict, an anonymous Iranian source takes offense at the allegations, saying that “we are the stalwart for freedom in the Middle East”, and that any allegations that Iran spreads fake news are themselves “completely false, fake news”. As a matter of fact, Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of spreading fake news. The anonymous source claims that Saudi Arabia has “accrued too much power” and that “Saudi Arabia is basically just one of the puppets of the United States”. The source adds that “Saudi Arabia and their oil [have] destabilized the Middle East”, and attacks them over their excessive use of force and humanitarian travesties. Saudi Arabia claims to be working towards, in direct opposition to these allegations, “[becoming] the beacon of progress” for the Middle East.

The United States, too, is a central part of this tension. While Saudi Arabia has a close relationship with the United States and receives large quantities of arms, Iran takes a different stance, calling the United States “one of the largest instigators of instability in the region”. They take offense at the sanctions placed on them after their compliance with the United States’ requirements, and say that the United States aims to “remove all countries that don’t agree with them from the playing field”. In response to allegations from Iran that Saudi Arabia is a “puppet” of the United States, our source says “We know who we are... Saudi Arabia is a force to be reckoned with”.

These harsh comments, accusations, and thinly-concealed threats are evidence that the Saudi-Iranian conflict has reached a breaking point, with the United States in the middle of the conflict. Will reconciliation ever be reached between these powers? That is unclear. What is clear is that the surfacing of these allegations will lead to a rapid and dangerous escalation of the conflict.