Holy Shi Ite! (Literally)
The latest shiz in the forever Sunni Shia Schism
"Without a doubt, the unlawfully shed blood of this innocent martyr will have a rapid effect and the divine vengeance will befall Saudi politicians.”
That's how Persia's Supreme Leader put it after Whahabbia Arabia executed several shia cats and a semi famous Shia cleric.
As if by magic, Iraians and shia appeared to attack Saudi embassies through out the region.
Could it escalate?
The Shia crescent is very real - and like all crescents - it also has two, uh, 'horns'.
The northern horn - from Iran through Iraq, Syria Lebanon to the Med sea. The southern horn goes like from Iran through several Gulf States to Yemen - and this is the kicker - the Eastern Province - the Shia rich oil bearing regions of Saudiland.
Eastern Province, also called al-Hasa, is home to the kingdom's oil wealth and has been an integral part of Saudi Arabia since before World War I. A separate Shiite state would pose an existential threat to the kingdom and its ally Bahrain, where Saudi troops have been shoring up the Sunni-minority monarchy since the eruption of the Arab Spring in 2011.
The 55-year-old Nimr was educated in Iran and Syria before returning to the kingdom in 1994, becoming an outspoken opponent of the crown prince's father, Prince Nayef. His biggest sin in the Saudis' view was advocating the secession of Eastern Province to form a majority-Shiite state.
As one of 44's Legacy thing issues, rapproachment with Iran has tons of side effects (and defects)
In short, by subordinating Saudi Arabia’s concerns to his legacy project with Iran, 44 has eviscerated America’s tempering influence against Saudi sectarian paranoia. And by executing Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Arabia has deliberately attacked the Iranian revolutionaries in a highly emotive way. The Saudis know the Iranians will retaliate, but they’re so concerned about showing resolve to Iran that such concerns have been overwhelmed.
Khamenei’s threat to Saudi politicians deserves special scrutiny, because we cannot assume the danger is limited to Saudi Arabia. After all, in 2011, Iranian leadership ordered the assassination of Adel al-Jubeir, who was then the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
That Iran faced no meaningful consequences for the 2011 bomb plot — an act of war on America — also fuels the threat.