The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

A perfect storm may be brewing in Saudi Arabia that could lead to climactic instability in the kingdom

There are so many factors that one could identify currently pulling apart the rule of the Saudi royal family: The fairly unprecedented attack against the family’s corruption and jihadist insanity in Western media, social media within and around the saud family especially by the young, ISIS bombings designed to perfectly stoke sectarian violence; exceedingly dangerous economic factors which are now coming into focus; the flailing and violent policy in Yemen… and of course the obtuseness of funding so many violent jihadists in a Syrian civil war that they badly misjudged.

Now this translated today by our Mideastwire.com (info@mideastwire.com for a free trial):

On October 26, Abdul Rahim Assi wrote the following report in Al-Akhbar daily: “…The ruling family in Saudi Arabia has gone mad. This is the least that can be said on the ratification of the verdict to kill Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in Al-Riyadh. The proceedings were then referred to the Ministry of Interior and then to the Royal court in order to obtain the signature of King Salman Ben Abdul Aziz.

“At the height of the frustration experienced by Saudi Arabia on the backdrop of its failure to realize an achievement in Yemen and the repercussions of this situation within the ruling family and the differences between Crown Prince Mohammad Ben Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammad Ben Salman, in addition to the escalating pace of the differences between Al-Riyadh and Tehran, the escalating sectarian speech in the region and the Russian military intervention in Syria that aborted the Saudi plans to topple the Syrian state, the Saudi authorities looked for an achievement to offer to their Wahhabi public in order to reduce the effect of the political, security related and economic crises experienced by the country. Then, a decision was made to ratify the execution of Sheikh Nirm al-Nimr who enjoys a national and religious weight in Saudi Arabia, despite the potential serious repercussions of this decision.

“The Supreme Court had rejected an appeal of the execution yesterday. Human Rights activist, Mohammad al-Nimr, the brother of Sheikh Al-Nimr, wrote on his Twitter account: “The verdict to kill #Sheikh_AlNimr has been ratified by the Court of Appeal and the Higher Court. The proceedings were referred to the Ministry of Interior and from there to the royal court in order to obtain the king’s signature.”

“…The verdict against Sheikh Al-Nimr was not surprising. All the signs had indicated that the Saudi authorities will proceed with their retaliation against the “weakest link” in the country, i.e. the people of the Ash Sharqiya province… Mohammad, the sheikh’s brother, considered that “this decision is quite serious and represents a worrisome indication, since there is now no more room to take this verdict back and since the decision of this court is not appealable.”

“In a phone call with Al-Akhbar, Al-Nimr said that “this is now in the hand of King Salman who could either sign or refuse to sign.” He added that if Salman signs, then the verdict will be executed and he warned that “executing the verdict will turn into a state of confusion in Saudi Arabia and the region.” Al-Nimr insisted that if the king was to sign the verdict, this will lead to serious repercussions on the Ash Sharqiya province since things could spiral into chaos in light of the feeling of anger in the Street that neither the family nor the notables can control. Al-Nimr added that the family doesn’t wish to see thing spiral out of control because this will “weaken the statute of the state.”

“On the family’s expectations with respect to the king’s decision, Al-Nimr said that if Salman abstained from signing, this will lead to pulling the crisis’ fuse and thus reducing the reigning state of anger. Al-Nimr hoped that the king won’t sign but he wasn’t very optimistic about that… Al-Nimr added that all the indications give way to believe that King Salman will sign the verdict especially that the Saudi authorities have recently sent messages indicating that they are proceeding with their decision to escalation the confrontation with the Ash Sharqiya province. Indeed, five young men on death row were transferred from the Al-Dammam Prison to the famous Al-Ha’er Prison, a prison that hosts a large number of politicians. The young men were locked in solitary confinement at the death row section, which gives way to believe that the verdict against them is about to be carried out. As for the Sheikh, he is expected to be transferred from the Al-Dammam Prison to Al-Ha’er at any moment now.

“To express their rejection of the verdict, the people of Ash Sharqiya organized a protest at the Al-Karama roundabout in Al-Rif neighborhood of the Al-Awamiya city, the birthplace of Al-Nimr, in order to support Sheikh Al-Nimr and to express their rejection of the Supreme Court’s decision. They chanted the slogan: “Is there no one who can support us?” And while no international reactions to the verdict were made, Iran re-stressed on its position that Al-Riyadh will pay the price for executing Sheikh Al-Nimr. The Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister, Hussein Abdul Lahyan, said that the news on the ratification of the verdict to execute Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr is worrisome. He also told Al-Alam channel that executing Al-Nimr will cost Saudi Arabia a hefty price.”

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

October 26, 2015 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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