Saudi - Iran Cage Match
by Deacon Blues
Ignoring the juvenile antics of Donald Trump is one New Year's resolution I happily made last week. Besides, Saudi Arabia's juvenile and destabilizing actions to execute a Shiite cleric and then lead a Sunni effort to end relations with Iran over Tehran's response has far more consequences in the real world than anything Trump can say in several lifetimes.
Saudi Arabia widened its rift with Iran on Monday, saying it would end air traffic and trade links with the Islamic republic and demanding that Tehran must "act like a normal country" before it would restore severed diplomatic relations.
Sure, "normal countries" do public executions of dozens of people, especially religious clerics all the time.
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters in an interview that Tehran was responsible for rising tensions after the kingdom executed Shi'ite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday, describing him as a terrorist.
Saudi Arabia picked an interesting time to become aggressive with Iran, thereby endangering any progress being made to deal with ISIS, Yemen, and Syria. Why, you'd almost think that the Saudis timed this intentionally to derail those efforts.
If the Saudis want to pick a fight with Iran and destabilize the region, and play arsonist in a Sunni-Shiite tinderbox, then let them do so without our presence in the region. If China and Russia want to get in the middle of this firefight for business (China) or geopolitical (Russia) reasons, then the Islamic world should be told to deal with them. We should step back from this one, as I see no upside for America to assert ourselves in this cage match.