[ Note: The Saudis’ attempt to grab the news headlines has worked as they intended, evidenced by their leaked memo to all security forces to prepare for a peak in protest activity after the Sheikh Nimr execution, what we call pre-staging. The Syrian war news has been pushed to the back page, as has the main lingering issue before the first negotiation meeting with Damascus and the Syrian opposition which just got and announced date of January 25th.
It has also been “All Quiet on the Western Front” as to whether Saudi Arabia is going be able to muscle in some of its terrorists groups for seats at the first meeting. This would in effect put them on the amnesty list as official “opposition” versus terrorists. It will also take Saudi Arabia and Qatar off the terrorist sponsor hit list for supporting these groups.
But there is more. If certain groups are getting a pass as official opposition ones, then what is to prevent those from the remaining terrorist groups having fighters changing sides quickly and joining a group under ceasefire protection? If membership names and IDs were not taken at the time this happened that would indicate to me that this musical chairs back door game was being left open for this to happen.
Because there has been no media on this critical issue I suspect that was because all parties agreed to stay mum about it until the last minute. “Oh what a wicked web they weave, when they doth practice to deceive”. We shall see over the next two weeks… JD ]
Saudi Arabia is keeping up its anti-Iran rhetoric amid a dispute over the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric. Speaking at a meeting of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council, the Saudi foreign minister said that Iran is still destabilizing regional countries. According to Adel al-Jubeir, Tehran and not Riyadh is escalating the tensions.
He also warned that Saudi Arabia is considering additional measures against Iran if it continues interfering in the affairs of the GCC. Saudi Arabia and some of its allies have either cut or downgraded their diplomatic ties with Iran. Iran’s foreign minister has written letters to the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, stating that Tehran does not want the situation with Saudi Arabia to escalate.