Islamists all strive for world hegemony through political control over Islamdom. While it is true that Islamists hold significant power in Pakistan and Turkey, they are not in full control over those nations, neither of which is a theocracy. Iran is a different matter though as Tehran is a great power under full Islamist control with very serious neo-imperialist ambitions. It is important for Western decision makers to understand how the ruling mullahs think and reason, including in their geostrategy. For Iranian geostrategists is the world akin to Russian dolls but in reverse order from small to large. Iran is confident that each stage of neo-imperialist empowerment will facilitate the next almost like a domino effect:
Assumption #1 If Iran attains nuclear weapons capability will the US not dare to engage in armed conflict with Iran.
Assumption #2 Iran conquering the Gulf states will overnight turn Iran into a superpower due to the immense oil wealth in those nations and if Iran already has nuclear weapons will the US not dare to do anything about the Iranian conquest.
Assumption #3 Once Tehran has become a military and economic superpower, Iran will have the military and economic muscles for taking over the rest of Islamdom.
Assumption #4 Control over Islamdom will grant the Iranian superpower global hegemony.
Assumption #5 Global hegemony is a springboard for Khomeinist theocratic world rule.
In order to thwart Iran’s ambitious hegemonic plans, it is essential for America and Israel to jointly destroy Iran’s nuclear weapons program. America will prior to such an operation need to station one million US troops in GCC nations in order to stop Iran’s apocalyptic Plan B of conquering Israel and GCC nations and attacking the West, Israel and GCC nations with weapons of mass destruction in terrorist attacks against major cities, all designed to prompt the reappearance of the Hidden Imam in Mecca which the Iranians believe needs to be under Iranian control when that occurs. Considering the central place and eschatological and geostrategic importance of Saudi Arabia in Iran’s neo-imperialist schemes, the United States needs to take a far greater role in Gulf security. Even if both Plan A and Plan B were thwarted will Iran not give up its imperialist-eschatological ambitions and taking over Saudi Arabia is a key step in that process of Khomeinist global cleansing.
While it is understandable considering President Biden’s commendable commitment to phasing out fossil fuels that his administration would attach less importance to Saudi Arabia, this in fact a mistake. The sale of new gasoline cars is not about to be outlawed anytime soon, which is something far away in the future, possibly as early as in the mid 2030s. Iran however is strongly incentivized to conquer Saudi Arabia long before that in accordance with Assumption #2. We should strongly assume that should both Plan A and Plan B be successfully thwarted, does Iran have a ready Plan C. What could that involve? Undoubtedly a seemingly unprovoked Iranian war to conquer the GCC nations and Israel. Of course, the mullahs would have to find a theological justification for this considering that Twelver jurisprudence prohibits offensive war but theology is malleable and can be adjusted to practical needs and circumstances. E.g. such an invasion could be in support of an IRGC-organized Shia uprising in Saudi Arabia.
Given the central importance of the KSA in Iranian strategic plans does the US need to commit itself to defend Saudi Arabia. However, the US should make demands from Saudi Arabia as well. Not only must the KSA fully normalize relations with Israel but it must also build a far larger military. In fact the KSA needs an army with 1 million soldiers in order to be able to effectively defend itself against the Iranian threat, as the current 250 000 is wholly insufficient. The US must demand that the nations of the region develop the ability to collectively defend themselves as part of the emerging security architecture that Israel is erecting in the region.
If Iran were to conquer the GCC states then Tehran would be the one to control the global price of oil and would no doubt implement oil embargoes against US allies to make them toe the Iranian line, thus breaking up US global hegemony. The US should make it a strategic priority to prevent Iranian control over GCC states and Washington therefore needs to commit to defend Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf states against the Khomeinist menace.