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Finian Cunningham: Travesty of Saudi Dirty Tricks Against Iran

Cartoon: Carlos Latuff

 

Saudi claims of “busting a spy ring” involving Iranian and Lebanese nationals this week smell of yet more dirty tricks by the creaky House of Saud.

But the repeated formula for attempting to smear Iran used by the Saudis and their Western and Israeli partners is in danger of becoming a parody.

Saudi authorities detained 18 individuals across the kingdom this week, who, it is claimed, were working for a “foreign state” in a plot to target vital installations.

"Sixteen Saudis, an Iranian and a Lebanese were arrested in coordinated and simultaneous operations in four regions of the kingdom," including the capital Riyadh and the holy city of Mecca, the Saudi interior ministry said in a statement.

Wow. Do you feel the bombast in those words “coordinated and simultaneous operations”?

The suspects “gathered information on vital installations which they provided to the country” they had been working for, added the Saudi intelligence experts.

Iran was not mentioned specifically, but the inclusion of an as-yet unnamed Iranian national is something of a finger of accusation that tries to be subtle, but is in fact a clumsy attempt to fabricate. The Lebanon connection can also be seen as a Saudi bid to implicate Hezbollah. That combination is a gauche effort to appear neat, from the Saudi point of view, to resonate with the hoary Western stereotype of Iran and its alleged sponsorship of international terrorism.

The purported busting of an alleged Iranian-led spy ring in Saudi Arabia makes for good headlines in the supine Western media. But between the headlines is the unmistakable stench of another dirty tricks operation, aimed at smearing Iran and covering up the reality of Saudi repression and state-sponsored terrorism across the Middle East.
 

Scarcely mentioned in the Western media coverage is that the arrests also involved Saudi nationals from among its Shia population in the country’s Eastern Province. This hard-pressed minority within Saudi Arabia has been holding peaceful protests for political freedoms for the best part of two years, closely aligned with their confessional brothers and sisters in nearby Bahrain. In both Bahrain and Saudi’s oil-rich Eastern Province, the House of Saud has sent its shock troops in to try to crush the movement for democracy with brutal, unremitting repression.

 

Finian Cunningham, originally from Belfast, Ireland, was born in 1963. He is a prominent expert in international affairs. The author and media commentator was expelled from Bahrain in June 2011 for his critical journalism in which he highlighted human rights violations by the Western-backed regime. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For many years, he worked as an editor and writer in the mainstream news media, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. He is now based in East Africa where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring.He co-hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Sunday at 3pm GMT on Bandung Radio. More articles by Finian Cunningham

Source: Press TV

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