The September 14 cruise missile strikes, through drones, on the Saudi Aramco oilfields by Iran or any of its allies directly challenges defence of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, along with regional and global interests of the United States of America. The attack clearly demonstrates Iran’s capacity to cause severe damage through precision of strikes within an area of 2,000 kilometres, as claimed by Iranian foreign minister. Despite claims of responsibility by Houthis, US officials still believe that the strikes on the critical Saudi energy infrastructure, Khurais and Abqaiq, was likely the work of Iran. Even if Iranian soil was not used to launch these attacks, the strikes were almost certainly initiated by an Iran-backed faction, and it shows real intent. The strikes also present a stark threat to US regional and global interests. Although the US is not much dependent on these oil supplies due to its own production, her western and eastern allies remain dependent on Saudi oil supplies that are vulnerable to any disruption. This capability of precision demonstrates that Iran is capable of projecting power throughout the region, and that it can impede US interests in the region. This power show is also a direct threat to Israel and can prove to be a real game changer in the region if these sophisticated weapons are provided to Hamas and Hezbollah. The reluctance of Saudi Arabia to instantaneously blame Iran shows the level to which Iran has out-flanked Riyadh in their war of proxies, as capable Iranian allies to the south and the north now surround the Kingdom, particularly, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and Iran-backed Iraqi Shia militias. They have been successfully nurtured by Iran, through increasingly sophisticated short-range missiles and armed drones, to the point where Israel has stepped up a bombing campaign against Iranian shipments and infrastructure in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. Saudis are in a quagmire. If they directly blame Iran for the strikes, the US and especially Israel, will not waste any time to attack Iranian installations. The attack conducted by Iran-backed Houthis or any other proxy of Iran is the most dangerous attack to date. Its consequences are much beyond surge in oil prices. It is now the strongest sign of the regional war, which was scripted as an Persian-Arab war. This attack turned the Yemen war into a Saudi Arabia war. The civil war in Yemen was already a Saudi-Iran war but now the truth is out in the open. The US and Israel may continue provocations, and that means that the indirect showdown between Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue The Houthis threatened to attack dozens of targets in the UAE, including the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. US President Donald Trump said, “We are ready for war. Our weapons are locked and loaded. We are focused on targets.” In response to this statement, Iranian foreign Minister Jawad Zarif said, “We do not want war but if imposed, it would be an all-out war, and battleground could be extended around 2,000 kilometres”. Thanks to Saudis’ reluctance to blame Iran directly, the Houthis gave a new statement to stall fresh strikes on Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. An Arab Persian war or an Islamic civil war has been averted for now. But the vehement and deliberate statement by the Iranian foreign minister has exposed the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia. The new offer of the Houthis to stall their missile attacks again outflanked the KSA on a diplomatic front. The response of the Saudi foreign minister on this offer was very careful and a bit defensive. The US and Israel may continue provocations, and that means that the indirect showdown between Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue. The recent claim by the Houthis of capturing Saudi soldiers will again escalate the level of tensions between the two countries, which was decreasing after President Hassan Rouhani’s reconciliation offer to the countries of the region without any intervention of international players. The plan of the US and Israel is to prepare the region for an Arab-Persian war, and now precision of cruise missile attacks will compel them to not backtrack from their plan. Interestingly, all wars in this region, since 1991, were fought on Arab soil. Nevertheless, Arab countries were always defeated. Years ago, the Arab-Persian border was Iran-Iraq border; later that border was drawn to the Iraq-Syria border. Now in the Arab region, Saudi Arabia is directly heading towards the centre of a war. God forbid, if this war is initiated it will strike the heart of Saudis, and it may also become a reason for internal division of Saudi Arabia. Saudis’ major mistake was losing the support of Turkey, which has a pivotal role in both Syria and the region. The biggest mistake of Saudis was crafting a corridor in north Syria against Turkey with the help of the US, the UAE and Israel. It is a clear sign of their open anti-Turkey front. One more step means an invitation to a new war in Lebanon and Iraq, and this is how the war will be regionalised. The stand by the UAE is more irrational. It has become the main base of an anti-Turkey sentiment and it wants Saudis in clash with Iran. The Syrian war has now turned into a world war. Through this war, now Russia is a regional player. Syria was the knot of the entire region. Unfortunately, it is now in chaos, and this factor will completely destroy the connection between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. This war can be called an Arab-Persian war or a new Islamic civil war. We can also call it an invasion of the whole region, but this war will end up with destruction of the entire region with no winner, and western armies spreading throughout the region. Whatever the cost this region will have to pay as consequence of this war is still arguable but the entire region will face this catastrophe due to a few myopic people at the helm of affairs. The writer is political Islam expert,researcher, teacher and a freelance journalist.