To end these wars, there needs to be political compromise between main players like Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Donald Trump’s belligerent rhetoric this week makes this almost impossible to achieve
By Patrick Cockburn
By furiously attacking Iran, Trump will encourage Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchs to escalate their proxy wars throughout the central core of the Middle East. It will encourage Iran to take precautions and assume that a long-term understanding with the US and the Sunni states is becoming less and less feasible.
There are already some signs that Trump’s endorsement of Sunni states, however repressive, is leading to an escalation of hostilities between Sunni and Shia.
In Bahrain, where a Sunni minority rules a Shia majority, the security forces attacked the Shia village of Diraz today. It is home to the island’s leading Shia cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim, who has just received a one-year suspended sentence for financing extremism.