Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which was once at the front and center of the Arab world and a significant player on the global stage due to its oil riches, has been steadily losing its regional influence and prominent role.
Saudi Arabia Should Be Disturbed, Not Reassured, Since It Poses a Worse Threat to the Middle East Than Iran
Last Month Secretary of State John Kerry traveled to Riyadh to reassure the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that the U.S. stood with them. "Nothing has changed" as a result of the nuclear pact with Iran, he insisted.
Riyadh's decision to execute Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr at the start of this month, the Iranian response, and the political fallout have raised the Middle East's sectarian temperatures to the highest level since the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
Riyadh, America's nominal ally, has demonstrated that it is the more reckless of the two states, by executing an important Shia cleric and severing diplomatic relations with Iran.
The government of Saudi Arabia has been roundly criticized for its brazen attempt to retain oil market share while driving the price of oil into the ground, its beheading of the Shi'ia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, and its war in Yemen.
To exchange accusations and call each other the root cause of the chaos that plagues the Middle East is to deflect responsibility for the despair that is inundating the crisis-stricken region.
The Arab League, sans Lebanon, condemns Iran's support for "terrorism, sectarianism and policy of interference" in other Muslims countries. Even the regimes like Iraq and Algeria opposed the policies of the Persians.
President Obama's position on the Saudi-Iranian row is a public announcement that his administration is dissolving its traditional alliance system, along with the regional order it had underwritten for decades, and embracing Iran instead.
Saudis are becoming increasingly disillusioned and angry with their government's domestic and economic policies, and the government's foreign policies are slowly becoming less popular as well. Now, after his execution, Nimr is emerging as an icon to the Shiite Arab community. And the fate of Arab governments who have executed Shiite religious leaders is haunting. Nearly all of them have collapsed.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The U.S. Navy on Saturday released footage it said showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard