To the editor: Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates followed their Sunni Muslim allies in Saudi Arabia in severing or downgrading relations with Iran. This came despite a lecture to Saudis from the U.S. State Department and many in the Western press for executing a Shiite cleric over the weekend. ("Mideast rift widens as Saudi allies cut ties with Iran," Jan. 4)
Well, what did the Obama administration and its media allies expect? The U.S. didn't listen to Saudi Arabia about the Iran nuclear deal, which it believes signals a U.S. strategic tilt toward Iran and its Shiite allies in the Middle East. The Saudis see the administration backing down on sanctions against Iran for testing ballistic missiles that can reach Riyadh long before they get to New York.
They feel under threat from an Iran liberated from sanctions, and they don't believe President Obama will defend them in a conflict. Why should they heed the U.S. now?
A Middle East dividing into Sunni and Shiite blocs is the predictable consequence of Obama's retreat from the region. As elsewhere, U.S. allies in the Middle East will do what they feel they must to survive, regardless of American disapproval.
Brian J. Goldenfeld, Woodland Hills