(It must be tough on the BBC not knowing which side to lie for. Unless of course, they do)
Kuwait has announced it is recalling its ambassador to Iran as a regional row over the execution of a Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia deepens.
Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran was ransacked and set alight on Saturday, after it executed Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others.
Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic ties with Iran in response, followed on Monday by its allies Bahrain and Sudan.
The US, UN and Turkey are among those calling for calm in the region.
Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran are major rivals for power in the Middle East and back opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
6. Bahrain: Tear gas and fireworks fly as clashes erupt over al-Nimr execution
Bahrain Security forces used tear gas against protesters in the town of Nuwaidrat, Monday, as protesters came out to decry the execution of Saudi Arabia’s execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.Protesting the killing of the cleric which has sparked unrest around the Middle East, the demonstrators were confronted by police and army forces. Wearing gas masks, the protesters, threw fireworks and Molotov cocktails at the security forces’ vehicles.
Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shi’ite cleric Nimr al-Nimr seems likely to escalate sectarian Sunni- Shi’ite violence in the Middle East, experts told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Gulf Sunni states, with the exception of independent- minded Oman, are expected to publicly back the Saudis, while Shi’ite-dominated Iraq and allied Syria back Iran.
“The Shia Sunni conflict is boiling,” Eliezer “Geizi” Tsafrir, a former Arab affairs adviser to the prime minister and senior Mossad and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) official, who is currently a fellow at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliya, told the Post.
“Backed by petro-dollars and aggressiveness” revolutionary Iran is supporting its allies throughout the region and the “Sunni world is terribly afraid of the Iranian threat, perhaps dreaming that the US or Israel will do the job,” Tsafrir said.
8. Pakistan: Effigies of Iranian leaders set alight by Saudi sympathisers
(Nice of them to use English signs in a land where they hate to the point of wishing genocide on all English speaking peoples)
Dozens of Pakistani supporters of Saudi Arabia burnt effigies of Iranian leaders in Peshawar, on Tuesday. The protest comes amid heightened tension between predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia and majority Shia Iran over the former’s execution of prominent cleric Shia Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.The protesters were from the Pakistan Right Path Party (PRHP), a Sunni political group with strong ties to Saudi Arabia. Leader of the PRHP, Muhammad Ibrahim Qasmi, defended the execution of al-Nimr, stating Saudi Arabia executed “the terrorist” in accordance with “the law and Sharia.”
By Mohammed Mukhashaf
ADEN (Reuters) – Air strikes led by Saudi Arabia targeting Iran-allied Houthi forces intensified in Yemen on Tuesday, residents said, ending weeks of a relative lull in the war after a major diplomatic row erupted between the kingdom and arch foe Tehran.
Large air strikes targeted military positions linked to Yemen’s ascendant Houthis in the capital Sanaa, the port city of Hodaida and the disputed southwestern city of Taiz.
Residents reported that the air raids hit a care center for the blind and Yemen’s chamber of commerce headquarters, in which there were no casualties.
Heavy shelling resumed on battle fronts which had been largely static during a truce which began on Dec. 15 in tandem with United Nations-backed peace talks.
Houthi fighters launched Katyusha rockets at the city of Marib, residents said, their first attack on the area since Gulf Arab troops and armed loyalists of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi seized it from the group over the summer.
RIYADH (Reuters) – The last time Saudi Arabia broke off ties with Iran, after its embassy in Tehran was stormed by protesters in 1988, it took a swing in the regional power balance in the form of Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait to heal the rift.
It is hard to see how any lesser development could resolve the region’s most bitter rivalry, which has underpinned wars and political tussles across the Middle East as Riyadh and Tehran backed opposing sides.
Riyadh’s expulsion of Iran’s envoy after another storming of its Tehran embassy, this time in response to the Saudi execution of Shi’ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr, raised the heat again, making the region’s underlying conflict even harder to resolve.
At the heart of the new crisis is Saudi Arabia’s growing willingness to confront Iran and its allies militarily since King Salman took power a year ago, say diplomats, choosing with his son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to abandon years of backroom politics.
Thank you Wrath of Khan, M., Richard and all. More to come. Order the pizza now.