Relive the excitement of the Patriots’ path to their fourth Super Bowl Championship with “Pumped”, a special commemorative book from The Boston Globe. Order now.

Letters

Expansion of Iranian power in Iraq could ignite Saudi reaction

Iraqi refugees, who fled from the violence in Mosul, walked inside the Khazer refugee camp on the outskirts of Arbil, in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, last week.

Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters

Iraqi refugees, who fled from the violence in Mosul, walked inside the Khazer refugee camp on the outskirts of Arbil, in Iraq’s Kurdistan region, last week.

Stephen Kinzer’s June 22 column “Iraq delivers bloody lesson on blowback” overlooks the most dangerous likely consequence from his proposal that the United States step back and let Iraq resolve its current political conflagration. Citing a host of ill-conceived US interventions, Kinzer suggests that if the Iraqis can “draw on Shiite military power in neighboring Iran and beyond, their position is strong.”

Unfortunately, Kinzer ignores the almost certain reaction of Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies to an expansion of Iranian power in the region. Ultimately, the conflict in Iraq, like many other conflicts in the region, seems to be a proxy for a much larger and far more ominous clash between the Sunni nations of the Arabian peninsula and the Shiite nation of Iran.

Continue reading below

A conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran could well turn out to be the mother of all blowbacks — one that would unquestionably threaten the security and stability of the United States, Europe, and virtually every other region of the world.

A war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, ignited by the tinderbox that is Iraq, could well put history on a course for which no nation in the world is prepared.

Ross Gelbspan

Jamaica Plain

Loading comments...

Wake up with today's top stories.

Want each day's news headlines delivered fresh to your
inbox every morning? Just connect with us
in one of the following ways:
or
Please enter a valid email
BostonGlobe.com will never post anything without asking. Privacy Policy
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com