Rivaliseringen mellom Saudi-Arabia og Iran har brutt ut i åpen og direkte konflikt. Nå kjemper de ikke lenger via stedfortreder som i Syria.

Det sies at Saudi-Arabia er gått lei av Irans frekkhet og vil lære Teheran en lekse. Saudi-Arabia har allerede gått til krig utenfor landets grenser i Jemen. Det er en krig vestlige medier skriver lite om, men som likevel er en test for den nye kongen og hans sønn.

Den kjente Midtøsten-scholar Fawez Gerges ved London School of Economics sier til CNN at alle dører står åpne.

“The diplomatic rupture between Saudi Arabia and Iran could easily spiral out of control,” said Fawaz Gerges, chair of contemporary Middle Eastern studies at the London School of Economics.

“Their conflict is playing out on Arab streets big time,” he said.

Already the two nations were on opposite sides of conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain and Lebanon. Now, he said, the question is how much worse things might get.

“The situation is extremely volatile between the two most powerful states in the Gulf, Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran. You have a war of words. You have war by proxies … This really could get very ugly and dangerous in the next few weeks and next few months,” Gerges said.

It’s possible a more direct military conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran could erupt, said retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a CNN military analyst.

“That’s the key issue,” he said. “This is spiraling very quickly.”