Iran and Saudi Arabia

I think Mark Kleiman gets this right:

What could be better, from a Saudi viewpoint, than war between the U.S. and Iran? Note that the Saudis (and our other Arab quasi-friends) are willing to fight Iran to the last American. They have no interest whatever in doing anything themselves.

Again, rather than rely on private “secret” information to guide our analysis the best thing to do is to think about what’s objectively known. For example, while potential disruption of global oil supplies is a major downside risk of war with Iran from a US (or Japanese or European or Chinese) perspective, such disruption could be hugely beneficial to oil exporters such as Saudi Arabia and Russia. What various actors say about a scenario like that is less revelatory than simply understanding the reality.