January 7, 2015
(ZEROHEDGE) Last weekend, an already chaotic geopolitical landscape was complicated immeasurably when Saudi Arabia moved to execute prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
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The Sheikh was a leading voice among Saudi Arabia’s dissident Shiite minority and it was his role in a series of anti-government protests that ultimately sealed his fate. “In any place he rules — Bahrain, here, in Yemen, in Egypt, or in any place — the unjust ruler is hated,” Nimr once said of the Sunni monarchies. “Whoever defends the oppressor is his partner with him in oppression, and whoever is with the oppressed shares with him his reward from God. We don’t accept al-Saud as rulers. We don’t accept them and want to remove them.”
The Saudis branded Nimr a “terrorist” and insist that he was no different from the 43 Sunnis who were executed last Saturday.
The Shiite world isn’t buying it — not for a second.
In fact, it seems likely that Riyadh knew good and well that killing the Sheikh would precipitate a firestorm. Even John Kerry warned the Saudis against executing the popular Shiite figure. In light of that, it seems just as likely as not that Riyadh wanted to create an excuse to sever ties with the Iranians and escalate the regional proxy wars playing out in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq.
In short: Saudi Arabia is losing. The Russian intervention in Syria has turned the tide against the Sunni extremist elements battling the SAA, what was supposed to be a quick victory in Yemen has devolved into a protracted stalemate, and Iraq has become an Iranian colony. The so-called “Shiite crescent” is waxing and the Saudis appeared powerless to stop it.
So they created a crisis. They engineered sectarian strife and then blamed Tehran for good measure.
From the time protesters took to the streets in Bahrain last Saturday we’ve been asking how long it would be before the “diplomatic” spat became part and parcel of the multiple regional proxy wars unfolding across the Mid-East.
On Thursday, we got the answer. Tehran now says Saudi Arabia has bombed the Iranian embassy in Sana’a.
“Tehran holds Saudi Arabia responsible for the damage caused to its embassy in Yemen,” Bloomberg reports, adding that “an unspecified number of embassy guards were wounded.”
Tehran says the missile attack represents a violation of international law.
Iran insists the bombing was “deliberate,” and claims several staff members were wounded. As BBC notes, the Saudi-led coalition contends that “the air strikes had targeted rebel missile launchers, and that the rebels had used abandoned embassies for operations.” Here’s Reuters:
“Dozens of air strikes hit the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Thursday, in what residents described as the heaviest aerial attacks there in nine months of war, days after a Saudi-led coalition trying to restore a Saudi-backed government ended a fragile ceasefire.
“The strikes pounded the presidential palace and a mountain military base to the south of the city, causing children and teachers in several schools to flee for their lives.
“‘My classmate and I were at recess when a huge explosion hit the neighborhood. We ran to the side and she fell to the ground in fear,’ said Maha, a tenth grader in a Sanaa school. ‘Everybody was screaming and the administration got us together and called our parents to take us out – all the students were in a panic.’ There were no immediate reports of casualties.”
Will this be just the excuse Iran needs to take the “proxy” out of Yemen’s proxy war? After all, there have long been reports of IRGC generals fighting alongside the Houthis and it wouldn’t exactly be out of character for the Quds to intervene in an effort to tip the scales. Perhaps more importantly, how long will it be before Iranian assets are damaged by Saudi strikes elsewhere? Like say, near Aleppo. Or in Iraq.
This article (Proxy War No More: Iran Says Saudi Arabia Bombed Its Embassy) originally appeared on ZeroHedge.com and was used with permission. Tune in! Anti-Media Radio airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: firstname.lastname@example.org.