Did Saudis Get Duped Into Executing Cleric Nimr, or Do They Want Intifada?
TEHRAN (FNA)– Pondering Riyadh’s decision to execute prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, which resulted in a political and diplomatic firestorm threatening to burn out of control, Syrian journalist Abbas Juma wonders whether the Saudis could have been duped into such a reckless move, whose consequences could include the collapse of the kingdom.
On January 2, Saudi Arabia executed prominent Shiite cleric and political activist Nimr al-Nimr, sparking outrage among Shiites around the world, including in Iran, where Shia Islam predominates. The execution resulted in protesters in Tehran storming the Saudi Embassy, Riyadh and its allies breaking off diplomatic relations with Iran, and Saudi warplanes bombing the Iranian Embassy in Yemen.
Commenting on Riyadh’s possible rationale in an op-ed for independent Russian newspaper Svobodnaya Pressa, Syrian journalist Abbas Juma suggested that, first things first, analysts from all sides knew that Nimr’s death would result in a crisis. “Therefore, few could believe that Riyadh would take such a step,” Juma said, according to a
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