I know it's just one Saudi columnist writing in what MEMRI describes as a "liberal" journal.  But the fact is that Saleh Al-Rashed is not alone. Of course, Iran and Saudi Arabia have never actually been friends as the Arabs generally have not been friends of the Persians. Nor visa versa.  

But everyone in the Middle East has reason to be afraid, and not because Iran is Shi'a. Now, the Sunni-Shi'a divide is a real divide, eschatologically meaningful, if you think eschatology is meaningful. And passionate. Eighteen Shi'a pilgrims were murdered this morning in Iraq on their way to prayer by a woman suicide bomber.  (What kind of virgins await them in Heaven?) But that's the Shi'a side of the story.  Don't be alarmed: reciprocity reigns.


The fact is, though, that Iran is not really Persia and Ahmadinejad is not Cyrus. And nuclear weapons are not spears and shields.  


This little strategic essay is short and smart.  And it is, in some ways, brave.  It admits what few have admitted before.


That a nuclear bomb in Iran's hands is a nuclear bin Laden, save that one set of hands is Shi'a and the other bloody hands are that of a Sunni, raised and bred in Saudi Arabia.


And it puts forward an entirely new view of Israel, with a little bit of distaste, like feh, but no strategic objections.  Read these two paragraphs.


"Perhaps it is a strange coincidence that, this time around, our strategic interests coincide with those of Israel. The regime of the mullahs in Iran is our enemy, and at the same time it is an enemy not just of Israel, but of world peace and security.

"I know that the Arab demagogues stand together indiscriminately with anyone who is against Israel and America. But we need to not be swept away by these demagogues as we were in the past. This time, the absolute priority must be our strategic security in the Gulf, which is threatened by Iran - even if this comes at the expense of the Palestinian cause.