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CCI Kidz

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((online>>>>)) Saudi Arabia v Iran live online 27 September 2023


... and restrictions on Iran enriching and processing nuclear material. Starting ... Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, among others. A Generation's Struggle for Democracy.


There is indeed a religious division between Sunni and Shia Islam, going back to the first generations of the religion's founding in the seventh century. You can read about those ancient religious differences and how they opened here, but the truth is that this is not terribly relevant to today's violence. Sunni and Shia have gotten along fine for much of the Middle East's history, and the Sunni-Shia divide was just not so important for the region's politics. In the 1980s, for example, the biggest conflict in the Middle East was between two Shia-majority countries — Iran and Iraq — with Sunni powers backing Iraq. That changed in 2003, when the United States led the invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. They blamed him for inciting the violence and accused him of firing on the police who arrested him (Nimr's family denies this, and it indeed seems suspect). They also accused him of aiding "foreign meddling. " He was sentenced to death in 2014. Many outside observers hoped that Saudi leaders, who let Nimr's death sentence dangle for more than a year, would never actually carry it out, or might even pardon him. But they carried it out. The bigger story behind Saudi Arabia's execution of Nimr al-Nimr The Saudi government appears to view Nimr as someone who committed two major crimes: stirring up Shia sectarianism and encouraging Saudi Shias to side against their own country and with Iran. That's a grave fear for Saudi Arabia. Since Nimr's arrest in 2012, Saudi Arabian tension with Iran has increased — they are supporting opposite sides in Syria's civil war, and Saudi Arabia blames Iran for the war in Yemen. BuzzFeed's Borzou Daragahi quotes an "influential former Saudi official" explaining the government's official view: "He’s directly responsible for having encouraged demonstrations that led to several fatalities among Saudi policemen in 2012, 2013 and 2014. He also encouraged a youth group to attack the police offices in Qatif with assault rifles. " "He’s also on record advocating for sedition as well as — absurd as it sounds — the break up of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In this way, political maneuvering in post-Saddam Iraq that was not primarily about religion came to be expressed as about religion. It helped deepen the Sunni-Shia divide there so severely that this divide today defines Iraq. If the Sunni-Shia conflict isn't about religion, how did it get that way? A Syrian rebel fighter in Aleppo. (Baraa al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images) (Baraa al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images) In 2011, when the Arab Spring began upending governments across the Middle East, both Saudi Arabia and Iran again tried to fill the vacuums, and that often meant supporting violence. It also meant deliberately amping up Sunni-Shia sectarianism to serve their interests. In Yemen, for example, Saudi Arabia saw the Shia Houthi insurgency as an Iranian puppet (Iran did support the insurgency, though this support is easy to overstate). By forcing a Sunni-Shia divide, the Saudis can make sure they are on the stronger side. You can see this, for example, in how Saudi Arabia funded Sunni extremists in Syria, helping to turn an initially non-sectarian civil war into a sectarian conflict. (Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, though Shia, did this as well, cynically hoping to make the opposition toxic and force Iran to back him, which worked. 14%, respectively). ###Embeddable### Saudi Arabia More Popular in All Countries Surveyed Approval of Saudi Arabia’s leadership is higher than Iran’s in all 13 countries surveyed in 2022, and in many, the gap is sizable. However, Kuwait and Libya stand out for their preference toward the Kingdom. In neighboring Kuwait, a 47-percentage-point approval difference in Saudi Arabia’s favor highlights the close relationship between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and OPEC partners, while a 41-point divide in Libya favors Saudi Arabia. [He was also] receiving funds and guidance from Iranian foundations. " But there is real reason to be skeptical that this is the whole truth. One clue: If Saudi Arabia were really motivated by a desire to tamp down sectarianism, it would have spared Nimr's life rather than executing him, which it had to know would provoke a major international incident and a global Shia backlash, including among its own Shia. In fact, it seems more likely that this execution is meant to promote sectarianism within Saudi Arabia. But this week's events have ended those hopes, and suggest things may rather get worse. That's not just bad for Saudi Arabia and Iran — it is bad for the entire Middle East, as both regional conflicts such as Syria and generalized Sunni-Shia tension are likely to increase. We are only four days into 2016, and already it is a year in which things in the Middle East have taken, impossible though it may seem, a significant turn for the worse. Here's how it happened and why this has Mideast analysts so worried. This began with an execution in Saudi Arabia The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday that it had executed more people in a single day than most death penalty countries, including the United States, kill in an entire year: 47, at 12 different sites across the country. Some were killed by beheading, according to the Guardian, and others by firing squad. The violence at first had little to do with religion: It was about the Syrian people versus a tyrannical government. But the Syrian government is allied with Iran, which means it is hostile to Saudi Arabia, so the Saudis see it as their enemy. The Saudis and other Sunni Gulf states armed Syrian rebels who are Sunni hard-liners, knowing their anti-Shia views made them more hostile to Iran and more loyal to Saudi interests. Iran used much the same strategy, portraying the Syrian war as a genocidal campaign against Shia. This helped Tehran attract Shia militias from Iraq and Lebanon that would fight for Iranian interests. Making the Syrian civil war as sectarian as possible also ensures that the Syrian government, which is Shia, will remain loyal to Iran. It's important to understand that the Middle East is mostly Sunni. So for Saudi Arabia, it might seem like a winning strategy to promote sectarianism, and to align itself with Sunnis and thus force Shia to align themselves with Iran. ) But Iran has used sectarianism as tool as well. While you could argue that Iran was at times backed into this strategy by Saudi Arabia — if the Saudis support Sunnis to isolate Iran, Iran could be expected to back Shia to hold on to some influence — it also pursued it aggressively, for example in Iraq and now in Syria. It did not always begin the sectarian competition, but it was happy to join Saudi Arabia in playing that game. Why do Saudi Arabia and Iran hate each other? A billboard depicting Iran's Islamic revolution and Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran in 1996. (Scott Peterson/Liaison via Getty) This conflict began in 1979, when the Iranian revolution turned secular Iran into a hard-line Shia theocracy. "It's no secret that the war there is going terribly, " Jones says, adding that dropping oil prices have hurt the economy. "One way to deflect attention away... is to find a way to sustain ideological commitment to the campaign. The Saudis have never really developed a coherent kind of nationalism, but they sure have gotten traction out of anti-Shiism. " Jones called Nimr's execution "red meat to the sectarian radicals, " including the Saudi clerical establishment, hard-line religious scholars, and the judiciary. By promoting "anti-Shiism, anti-Iranian fervor, anti-Houthi passions, and so on, " Saudi Arabia likely hopes to promote its official narrative of the Yemen war and "help diminish any pressure to stop the war. " Saudi leaders have, in the past, oscillated between protecting the country's Shia minority at home and indulging anti-Shia sentiment among its clerical and hard-line establishment, for example by closing Shia mosques. Saudi Arabia vs Iran scores & schedule Saudi Arabia - Iran game starts on Sep 27, 2023 at 6:00:00 AM UTC. Follow the game on Sofascore with live scores and statistics.


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