In Islam one must make available to one’s foes the opportunity to recognize their errors and apostasy and submit to Allah and choose to worship in the traditional Islamic manner you proscribe to. This offer must be proposed three times and after all three chances have been refused and the offending entity has refused to submit, then one is permitted to use any method and amount of violent force in order to convert or eradicate the non-believer. What makes this procedure even more interesting is that this even applies when one of the subgroups within Islam has decided to bring other Muslims to their true vision of Islam and away from their apostate and impure practice of a false form of Islam. Where this applies in the coming confrontation in the Middle East is that the Sunni and Shia each view the other as apostates following a false narrative of insult to Islam. There is a long history of these two main branches of Islam going to war in an effort to eradicate the other. The beginning of this divide came very early in the history of Islam and is centered on who was the righteous successor to Mohammad after his death. The Sunni believe that Abu Bakr, the father of Muhammad’s wife Aisha, was Muhammad’s rightful successor while the Shia believe that Muhammad divinely ordained his cousin and son-in-law Ali, the father of his grandsons Hasan ibn Ali and Hussein ibn Ali, to be his rightful successor. Both Sunni and Shia follow the Five Pillars of Islam but it has been their differences which the two have concentrated upon leading to numerous wars over the thousand years plus these two versions of Islam have existed. They are still adversarial into the modern era though they both have ignored their differences when battling Israel and the rest of Western society. Still, with the rise of Iran as a major power in the Middle East, they are apparently preparing to make another drive to drive Shia Islam to be predominant through the eradication or submission of the Sunni followers of Islam. What drives their desires even further is the possibility of also gaining complete control of all the oil of the Middle East by acquiring the Saudi Arabian oil fields as a bonus as they impose Shia Islam on the predominantly Sunni Saudis.
The Iranians are feeling invincible after their complete routing of the Western powers with the recent agreement which Iran has interpreted as having received a reprieve from the majority of the sanctions for so little a price that they feel they received this basically for free. The Iranians have made it abundantly clear that they do not perceive of having made any concessions to United States President Obama and the P5+1 talks in Geneva. We have noted a number of times that Iran would make moves on either Saudi Arabia (from December 9,2013 Northeastern Saudi and Eastern Gulf Oil Fields the New Sudetenland and from April 26, 2012 Iran Aims For All Middle East Oil) or the United States initially and attack both well before they ever turn their attentions on Israel. That is not to imply that the Iranians will not make life in Israel uncomfortably challenging, it is just they will rely on attacking Israel piecemeal using Hamas, Hezballah and Syria but the last two will have to wait until at least some months after the Syrian Civil War has been completed with Bashir al-Assad still in power. Iran may also be making inroads with Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, hoping to utilize them as another front with Israel once they have attained as much as possible using the United States to force a solution upon the Israelis granting them their statehood. In the meantime the Iranians will simply use their influence with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the disparate terrorist entities including al-Qaeda to attack Israel from the Sinai. The Iranians will also, though not likely directing or planning the strikes, be highly satisfied with any attacks on the Egyptian military controlled government of Egypt as they would prefer to have the Muslim Brotherhood, despite their Sunni observance, as an ally, though only temporarily and only as long as the Egyptians were useful in harassing and attacking Israel.
The immediate necessities on Iran’s plate are cementing their control over Iraq by assisting the Shia Iraqi government defeat the Sunni al-Qaeda backed forces in the center of that country and defeating the Sunni rebels in the Syrian Civil War. In the meantime Iran will provide Hezballah with whatever they need to continue their stranglehold on Lebanon and also aiding and providing much of the most effective forces in Syria allied to al-Assad. Once they have tamed the Sunni resistance and completed their crescent reaching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea they will likely strengthen their ties with Turkey providing Erdogan manages to remain in power which is very probable. Once the Iranians have settled and gained all the allies peaceably they can turn their sights on those gains which will require the use of military force. The initial steps in that agenda have already been taken. The Iranians have recently attacked not just the Saudi Arabian government, but also the Wahhabi Sunni sect that is the ideological underpinning of the Saudi Arabian regime and the enforcers for the Saudi Royal Family who back the Wahhabis with petro-dollars. The Iranians have recently declared the Wahhabis to be “worse than Jews” and heretical and stated that, “If they refuse to convert (to Shia Islam from Sunni Islam) killing them is not a sin.” The next step will be a second invitation to the Saudi Arabian Sunni influences of both the ruling Family Saud and the Wahhabi clerics and followers. Then we can expect for there to be some protests which will escalate eventually turning violent. When the Saudi Arabian government sends in troops to put down the Shia protesters and violence and enforce their hold on the oil fields located in northeast Saudi Arabia, this will give Iran the reason d’etre to send their final notice to the Saudis demanding they cease their violence against the Iranian Shia brothers and forsake their sinful, evil and apostate Sunni ways and adopt Shia Islam. The Saudis will not respond and will continue to secure their valuable property, their oil fields which are the basis of their wealth. This will give the Iranians the righteous cause to enter to protect their Shia brothers and as a convenient byproduct will also occupy and gain the Saudi Arabian oilfields. With the first salvo just fired with the invitation by Iran for the Saudi Arabian leaders, people and their Wahhabi religious communities to give up their apostolic Sunni beliefs and adopt the true Shia version of Islam, the only thing left is to wait and make sure we do not miss the next salvo when Iran, likely from Ayatollah Khamenei, their Supreme Leader, makes a public plea for the people, leaders and clerics of Saudi Arabia and the Wahhabi sect to join the true faith of Shia Islam and join with Iran in service of Allah. When that second invitation is given you can bet that Iran will already have a small arsenal of nuclear weapons. The sickening truth is they likely have already produced a small number of functioning warheads to have taken this step. Even if that is not the case, they obviously feel confident that they will be so armed and sooner rather than later. The time has come to scrutinize everything emanating from Iran with great concern and consider every possible ramification.