Saudi-Iran stand­off will fuel Syr­ian fire

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS -

Kuwait and the United Arab Emi­rates have al­ready cut ties with Tehran.

The other was to send an un­am­bigu­ous mes­sage to the Shia of the East­ern Prov­ince: all dis­sent from them will be crushed with­out mercy.

The ini­tial re­ac­tion among the Shia mi­nor­ity to al-Nimr’s ex­e­cu­tion has been re­mark­ably muted, with just a few hun­dred lo­cals march­ing in his home town and brief clashes with se­cu­rity forces. That should not come as a sur­prise. For while the East­ern Prov­ince is the House of Saud’s Achilles heel, the Shia there are equally mind­ful that the only thing be­tween them and the geno­ci­dal lu­nacy of Daesh is the Saudi royal fam­ily that op­presses, but does not mas­sacre, them.

At the same time, there re­mains the risk that the Saudi roy­als mis­cal­cu­lated in ex­e­cut­ing al-Nimr.

For this new sec­tar­ian stand­off could yet mush­room into a direct con­flict be­tween Saudi Ara­bia and Iran, as the proxy wars they are fight­ing in Syria and Ye­men spi­ral out of con­trol and the prospects for peace deals and com­mon ground are crushed. John R Bradley’s books in­clude ‘Saudi Ara­bia Ex­posed: In­side a King­dom in Cri­sis’

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

A demonstration against Iran in Pe­shawar, Pak­istan, this week

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