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  • 2 months later...

The German government was slightly pissed by the BND disparaging the Saudis on its own like this:

 

German spy agency warns of Saudi intervention destabilizing Arab world

Germany's foreign intelligence agency BND has released a disparaging report on Saudi Arabia. Their assessment says the country is destabilizing the Middle East with proxy wars in Yemen and elsewhere in the region.
The BND document entitled "Saudi Arabia - Sunni regional power torn between foreign policy paradigm change and domestic policy consolidation" singled out Saudi Arabia's defense minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as trying to strengthen his place in the royal succession while putting Saudi Arabia's relationship with erstwhile regional allies in jeopardy.
"The careful diplomatic stance of older members of the Saudi royal family has been replaced by an impulsive policy of intervention," the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) said.
The spy agency accused bin Salman, second in line to the throne, and his father, King Salman, as trying to create an image of Saudi Arabia being the leader of the Arab world. The BND added that bin Salman's quest to cement his place in the nation's leadership could also irritate other members of the royal family.
As another reason for the shift in policy, the BND also cited a perceived change in the role of the United States as the guarantor of stability in the face of growing influence exerted by Iran.
Since King Salman's succession to power in January 2015, there's been a more forceful response to the regional standoff between Iran and Saudi Arabia largely set in motion by Prince Mohammed. The BND said that this could mainly be observed in Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen as well as its increased support for Syrian rebels in a bid to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Power struggle with Iran
The brief report chiefly spoke about Saudi Arabia's involvement in Yemen and Syria, but also highlighted other countries such as Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq as realms of growing Saudi interest, saying that Saudi Arabia was "prepared to take unprecedented military, financial and political risks to avoid falling behind in regional politics."
According to the BND, Saudi Arabia continued to view Iran's involvement in the region as an increasingly aggressive tactic, pointing to Iran's reported cooperation with paramilitary organizations like Hezbollah in Lebanon and other non-state proxies in conflict-ridden areas of the Middle East.
Iran has denied having any ambitions to meddle in foreign affairs, but has accused Saudi Arabia of undermining regional stability through its military support and financing of rebels. Iran, a chief ally of Syria's Assad, has been accused of financing and assisting Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia's expanding influence in the Middle East also comes at a considerable price tag. The Gulf kingdom will likely face a budget deficit of at least $120 billion this year alone.

 

http://www.dw.com/en/german-spy-agency-warns-of-saudi-intervention-destabilizing-arab-world/a-18889664

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BND reporting the obvious. And my government does not want to hear. Great.

 

the saudi meddling dovetails with the projected pipelines across arabia and who wants to build their own pipeline and deny the competition from building theirs. Cannot give Iran easy access to european market.

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At the same time, they'd like that easy access for themselves. Via Syria and Turkey.

 

Not that it's the only, or even the main reason for current unpleasantness. They feel their very grip on power might be at stake if the Iranians manage to secure their Shia crescent. After that Yemen will be a formality, and then there is Shia minority in KSA (and near quite a lot of oil fields at that) and Bahrain.

 

Obviously it concerns whole GCC, not just KSA.

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  • 2 weeks later...

World | Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:06pm EST

 

Saudi Arabia announces 34-state Islamic military alliance against terrorism

DUBAI/PARIS | By Noah Browning and John Irish

 

A new Saudi-led Islamic alliance to fight terrorism will share information and train, equip and provide forces if necessary for the fight against Islamic State militants, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday.

 

Saudi Arabia announced earlier on Tuesday the formation of a 34-nation Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, a move welcomed by the United States which has been urging a greater regional involvement in the campaign against the militants who control swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

 

"Nothing is off the table," al-Jubeir said when asked whether the initiative could include troops on the ground.

 

"It depends on the requests that come, it depends on the need and it depends on the willingness of countries to provide the support necessary," he told a news briefing in Paris.

 

A statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA said the new coalition would have a joint operations center based in Riyadh to "coordinate and support military operations".

 

The states it listed as joining the new coalition included Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and several African nations.

 

The list did not include Shi'ite Muslim Iran, the arch rival of Sunni Saudi Arabia for influence across the Arab world. Tehran and Riyadh are ranged on opposite sides in proxy conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

 

The statement cited "a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations, whatever their sect and name, which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorize the innocent."

 

[...]

 

ISLAMIC STATE NOT SOLE TARGET

 

In a rare press conference on Tuesday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's 30-year-old deputy crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman said the new coalition aimed to "coordinate" efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

 

"There will be international coordination with major powers and international organizations ... In terms of operations in Syria and Iraq, we can't undertake these operations without coordinating with legitimacy in this place and the international community," bin Salman said, without elaborating.

 

He offered few concrete indications of how the new coalition's military efforts might proceed.

 

Asked if the new alliance would focus only on Islamic State, bin Salman said it would confront "any terrorist organization that appears in front of us".

 

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab neighbors have been waging war for nine months against Iran-allied rebels in Yemen, launching hundreds of air strikes there.

 

A ceasefire took effect in Yemen on Tuesday as parties to the civil war began United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland in a new push to end fighting that has killed nearly 6,000 people.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-security-idUSKBN0TX2PG20151215

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Pakistan and Le anon seem rather surprised:

 

Pakistan surprised by its inclusion in 34-nation military alliance (dawn.com)

 

...

This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has named Pakistan as part of its military alliances without Islamabads knowledge and consent. The Saudis earlier named Pakistan as part of the coalition that carried out operations in Yemen and a Pakistani flag was displayed at the alliances media centre.

Pakistan later declined to join the Yemen war.

...

 

Lebanon FM says not member of Saudi anti-terror coalition (The Daily Star Lebanon)

 

The Foreign Ministry Tuesday denied having knowledge of Saudi Arabia's creation of an Islamic anti-terrorism coalition announced overnight, contradicting an earlier statement made by Prime Minister Tammam Salam implying that Lebanon was a member of the alliance.

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Our MoD has clarified that no Malaysian servicemen are going anywhere in support of this effort. Lol.

Hadn't Malaysia deployed a handful of soldiers to Iraq as apart of the "coalition of the willing" or what it was called? So saying that they do not take part this time around makes sense I think.

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Pakistan and Le anon seem rather surprised:

 

Pakistan surprised by its inclusion in 34-nation military alliance (dawn.com)

 

 

...

This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has named Pakistan as part of its military alliances without Islamabads knowledge and consent. The Saudis earlier named Pakistan as part of the coalition that carried out operations in Yemen and a Pakistani flag was displayed at the alliances media centre.

Pakistan later declined to join the Yemen war.

...

Lebanon FM says not member of Saudi anti-terror coalition (The Daily Star Lebanon)

 

The Foreign Ministry Tuesday denied having knowledge of Saudi Arabia's creation of an Islamic anti-terrorism coalition announced overnight, contradicting an earlier statement made by Prime Minister Tammam Salam implying that Lebanon was a member of the alliance.

Coalition of the Unwilling. :lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Iran’s Supreme Leader Says Saudis Face ‘Divine Revenge’ for Execution of Shiite Cleric

 

Execution of Nemer al-Nemer draws wave of criticism, sparks demonstrations

 

By Asa Fitch in Dubai, Karen Leigh in Beirut and Ahmed Al Omran in Riyadh

Jan. 3, 2016 5:40 a.m. ET

 

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that Saudi Arabia would face divine retribution for its execution of prominent Shiite cleric Nemer al-Nemer, a move that has fanned sectarian tensions in a region already brimming with conflict.

 

Mr. al-Nemer’s execution Saturday triggered widespread condemnation from officials in predominantly Shiite Muslim Iran, while crowds stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, throwing Molotov cocktails at the building. Police were called in to restore calm and 40 people were arrested, Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi said Sunday, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

 

Mr. al-Nemer was one of a group of 47 prisoners, mostly Sunni militants, to die in the kingdom’s largest mass executions in decades.

 

Mr. Khamenei said the execution was a “political mistake” that wouldn’t go unpunished, according to IRNA. “Undoubtedly, the divine hand of revenge will come back on the tyrants who took his life,” he said.

 

Having previously warned that carrying out a death sentence against Mr. al-Nemer “would cost Saudi Arabia dearly,” the Iranian government also summoned the Saudi charge d’affaires in Tehran to protest the execution.

 

Saudi Arabia accused Iran of trying to escalate tensions and support terrorism.

 

“The Iranian regime has unveiled its real face in support of terrorism which is considered a continuation of its policy aiming to destabilize the security of the region’s countries,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

 

Mr. al-Nemer was a leading voice behind Shiite protests that rocked Saudi Arabia beginning in 2011. He was sentenced to death in October 2014 on charges of encouraging foreign meddling and disobedience toward Saudi Arabia’s rulers.

 

While Saudi Arabia is majority Sunni, it has a large and restive Shiite population concentrated in its Eastern Province.

 

The killing of Mr. al-Nemer could further strain relations between Saudi Arabia and Shiite populations in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.

 

Anti-Saudi protests also broke out in the streets of Baghdad on Saturday. Smaller protests took place in the town of Kut, south of the capital, and in the Shiite pilgrimage city of Kerbala.

 

Mr. al-Nemer’s execution comes at a fragile moment for Iraqi Prime MInister Haider al-Abadi, who faces anger from Shiite leaders who have criticized his reliance on the U.S., which has close ties to Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led Gulf Arab monarchies.

 

Mr. Abadi’s government has been cultivating a warmer relationship with Saudi Arabia. The kingdom reopened its Baghdad embassy last week, 25 years after it shuttered following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

 

“I’m shocked [and] saddened at Sheikh [al-Nemer’s] execution by Saudi authorities,” Mr. Abadi tweeted Saturday. “Peaceful opposition is a fundamental right. Repression does not last.”

 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari called for calm on Saturday and said there shouldn’t be more demonstrations around Saudi diplomatic premises, according to IRNA. Protesters also removed the Saudi flag from its consulate in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city, local news agencies reported.

 

Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been rivals for power in the region and are already fighting what amounts to a proxy war in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has carried out airstrikes against Houthi rebels since last March. Iran supports the Houthis politically, but denies sending them weapons.

 

Mr. al-Nemer’s execution also drew criticism from outside the Middle East.

 

It has the “potential of inflaming further the sectarian tensions that already bring so much damage to the entire region, with dangerous consequences,” European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement on Saturday. “The EU calls on the Saudi authorities to promote reconciliation between the different communities in the Kingdom, and all actors to show restraint and responsibility.”

 

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was “deeply dismayed” by the execution and reiterated his stance against the death penalty, according to a spokesman. He urged restraint in reactions among Saudi Arabia’s rivals and deplored Saturday’s violence at the embassy in Tehran.

 

http://www.wsj.com/articles/irans-supreme-leader-vows-divine-revenge-for-saudi-execution-of-shiite-cleric-1451817615

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The Saudi embassy in Baghdad got katyushaed by Harakat-al-Najuba the one of the Shia militias fighting in Syria. Trouble in Bahrain. Killing Nimr is insane, unless you are trying to screw over Defense Minister Mohammed.

Edited by Simon Tan
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The Saudi embassy in Baghdad got katyushaed by Harakat-al-Najuba the one of the Shia militias fighting in Syria. Trouble in Bahrain. Killing Nimr is insane, unless you are trying to screw over Defense Minister Mohammed.

 

There. SA royal house is in uproar and it's spilling over.

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It is an attempt by Saudi to try and broaden the conflict with Iran. To goad them into some reaction that they can then use to pressure the US or other Sunni states into escalation. Since the Sheikh was executed following the visit of the Sultan, it must have been part of the calculation. The pressure direct and indirect on Sunni states is extremely high to 'join the coalition' and contribute to the Yemen fight. Saudi could not GAS about Syria other than it is something to occupy Tehran.

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Am I the only one sorta enjoying seeing these two camps kill each other? I hope this means limiting terror activities inside that region alone, leaving the rest of the world alone.

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Of the 3 East Asia countries, China has the most diverse supply of oil. In 2014, about 30% comes from Shia and Russia and about 33% from Sunni countries. Japan has only about 13% from Shia and Russia and about 76% from Sunni countries. South Korea has about 17% from Shia and Russia and about 71% from Sunni.

 

The US isn't so dependent on ME oil.

 

 

http://www.randalolson.com/2014/08/28/where-the-u-s-gets-its-oil-from/

 

Most of the Persion gulf portion is from KSA and some being Iraq.

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Why is the USA pie so roughly divided into regions, whereas the others name definite countries?

 

There wasn't one that was exactly like the other three for the US. The link below the US pie graph posted has some interesting things. There are others by going with google. This one says Jan 2014, one month may not be a long enough sample, but well I can put it up.

 

 

Main point is that US oil imports are far less than the 3 East Asia countires which is something to consider when thinking about the strategic interest of these countries. Another point is how China is not slanted to Sunni oil like Jpn, ROK, or the USA is.

 

Another important point from the link is that in 2013, the share of oil between US imports and US produced is 40% and 60% respectively. It really minimizes the impact of what happens in the ME. Naturally, Japan, RoK, and China don't have nearly as much domestic oil extraction.

Edited by JasonJ
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