Gulf allies of Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran on Monday in a show of solidarity with Riyadh, after Iranian protesters raided the Saudi Embassy in Tehran over the weekend.
A riot erupted after Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al-Nimr, a Shi’ite sheikh, for “foreign meddling” in the Sunni kingdom.
President of the predominantly Shi’ite Iran, Hassan Rouhani, condemned the violent ransackers on Saturday as extremists. But Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates proceeded to downgrade their ties with Tehran, one day after Saudi Arabia’s lead.
Each Gulf government characterized the decision as a reaction to aggressive Iranian foreign policy. But Iran accused Saudi Arabia of using the riot as an “excuse” to act on its sectarian inclinations.
The escalating crisis threatens to deepen the Sunni- Shi’ite sectarian rift dividing the region, and risks prompting a new wave of violence across the Arab world.
Several Shi’ite groups have vowed retribution for Nimr’s killing.
“Pro-Iranian extremist groups in Iraq and Bahrain have threatened terrorist attacks if Nimr is executed, which he indeed has been,” said David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The greatest concern is actually the possibility of violence in the Gulf.”
https://www.endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/ShowImage.ashx_306.jpeg 530 758 alphatimes https://endtime.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/endtime-logo.png alphatimes2016-01-05 00:00:002018-03-28 17:21:08Arab world takes sides as crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalates