The US-Saudi alliance targeting Iran is fuming crisis in the Middle-East, causing dismay to the entire region, writes Jane Green.
Peace in the Middle East has, for many decades, been a rare commodity. The flow of oil, gas, and minerals, which has seen the development of some of the richest states on the planet, has not brought with it a rush of democratic control. On the contrary, from the controlling input of the oil transnationals under British colonial rule to the dynastic dictatorships sold to the Western public as "royal" families, the mineral wealth of the region has been ruthlessly exploited to benefit a select few. Over recent decades, the power balance has ebbed and flowed with different allegiances being fashioned to suit the needs of the West and to ensure that oil supplies are kept flowing and rival economies are kept at bay.