Alwaght- Over the past year, Saudi Arabia has experienced a very turbulent year. After King Abdullah passed away, many incidents and crises have happened which have affected the House of Saud.
These incidents and crises from which Saudi Arabia sought its own benefit, turned to be the main hazards for the very existence of Saudi Arabia. As the House of Saud has imprudently founded its domestic and foreign policies, they have failed to achieve the desired results they expected. In the meantime, four crises more than anything else may incur great costs for Saudi Arabia; these crises are briefly discussed in the following lines.
– Falling oil prices
To counter Iran’s growing power in the region, Saudi Arabia deliberately made attempts to decrease oil prices. Given the sanctions against Iran, decision-makers in Saudi Arabia had come to the conclusion that if they cut off oil revenues of Iran and cause unprecedented decline in oil prices, Iran would be obliged to abandon many of its spheres of influence in the region. However, contrary to such predictions, not only this strategy failed to have any impact on Iran’s behavior over the past year, but also the course of events in the region has been fully in line with the interests of Iran. On the other hands, Saudi Arabia has been facing a very high budget deficit of 73 billion dollars, the Financial Times reported.
– Supporting ISIS terrorist group
Supporting the ISIS terrorists was another mistake that the Saudis made in the arena of foreign policy. The fall of the Syrian government had become the only objective of Saudi Arabia in the past few years. They have spared no effort to achieve this goal, as they have equipped and sent thousands of ISIS terrorists to Syria, as a result of which tens of thousands of Syrian people were killed. However, contrary to their expectations, not only Assad government did not fall, but also after four years of crisis, Western countries finally gave up the idea of calling for downfall of Assad’s government. Nevertheless, the Saudi Arabia was again depicted as the state sponsor of terrorism, and achieved none of its goals in this regard. Now, it seems that the ISIS terrorists are going to head towards Riyadh and get this country into an identity crisis. Recent bombings in the country for which the ISIS terrorist group has claimed responsibility are an evidence for such a claim.
– Yemen war
As Malik Salman, the new Saudi King, ascended the throne, Saudi Arabia which had desperately failed to overthrow the Syrian government invaded neighboring country’s southern neighbor. It was predicted that in a short time, Saudis would be able to occupy Yemen and bring into power their agents in that country. On the contrary, after more than 6 months of the war, not only Saudis have not reached their goals in Yemen, but also some southern governorates of Saudi Arabia were attacked by the Yemeni revolutionary forces. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Saudi Arabia has made more than $ 60 billion loss in the war against Yemen. On the other hand, Yemenis are now making efforts to recapture three governorates of Najran, Jizan and Asir that Saudi Arabia seized and occupied some eighty years ago. After failing to win the war in Syria, Saudis made attempts to win the war in Yemen and introduce it as a winning card; nevertheless, it has turned to a political quagmire for the Saudis.
– Mina catastrophe
The largest crisis in the House of Saud is perhaps their incompetence and imprudence. The country which has the largest oil reserves in the world has not been able to form an efficient management system in the country. In the ritual ceremony of Stoning the Devil in Mina, during Eid al-Adha, more than four thousand pilgrims were killed. Regardless of the reasons behind this accident, once again it has proved the inefficiency and incompetence of the Saudis. This, more than ever, could engender the legitimacy of the House of Saud; because the regime which does not have an internal efficiency cannot be successful in foreign policy too, and now Mina catastrophe is the greatest manifestation of inefficiency in the House of Saud.
The culmination of four above crises could cause intense distress for Saudi Arabia in both domestic and foreign arenas, and if this country declines to appropriately interact with other countries, these four crises are powerful enough to strike a heavy blow to the existence of Saudi Arabia.