The execution of 47 people on January 2, 2015, including Nimr Bakır el-Nimr, a religious figure deeply valued and revered by the Shiite population in Saudi Arabia, have pushed the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia to a final brink. With the Irani protesters’ burning of the Saudi Embassy during the demonstrations in Tehran, the diplomatic relations between the two countries have come to a halt. The pressure on the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia is nothing new. However this recent tension leaves the region vulnerable to a potential regional and global crisis since the unrest of Saudi Arabia, which started with the Syrian civil war and escalated with the nuclear agreement with Iran, received a heavy handed response from the Iranian side. Although there is now a possibility of mitigating the tension in the region upon the call from the USA, the most recent response by Saudi Arabia is actually reflectof the perception of exclusion from an international economical system and consequently from the military system attached to it. While Saudi Arabia arrives at an economic bottleneck, it is also in the fast lane to losing its position as the traditional American ally with regard to foreign affairs it has demonstrated in Syria and Yemen.
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