Ret. Gen. Zinni: Saudi, Iran Tensions Could Stir Up Hot War, Distraction from ISIS

During an interview with the FOX Business Networks Sandra Smith, retired Unites States Marine Corps General and former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command Anthony Zinni explained why he is concerned about Saudi Arabia cutting ties with Iran.

“If this were to escalate in any major way, we have the potential for a hot war between Iran and Saudi Arabia which could close the Gulf, obviously the access to energy freedom and navigation. The implications for us… much like the old Iran-Iraq war in the 80’s could be, I think, deeply concerning for those who worry about the economy and stability in the region.” he said.

He also argued it could potentially cause a distraction from ISIS.

“The Saudis are deeply concerned about what’s going on in Yemen. The Houthis and the opposition are supported by Iran. They will have internal problems because their Eastern provinces and Bahrain and other places have major Shiite populations that are demonstrating now and obviously that unrest could cause internal problems,” he said.

When it comes to defeating ISIS, Zinni said the U.S could "crush them in a short period" if the White House made a commitment that matched actions on the ground.

“If we were really about defeat, we would mobilize NATO… Article 5 would be invoked and we would take stronger action. Even to the commitment of ground forces -- we would put pressure and give support to this new coalition that the Saudis are putting together for them to get more involved, and I think with our participation and our support they would… This would match what’s going on in Iraq now where the Iraqi military, along with the Kurds, are finally beginning to show some strength.”