You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

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...
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
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.