The key to a Riyadh-Tehran rapprochement is Bahrain. A 37 Km causeway links Saudi Arabia’s oil bearing, Shia dominated Eastern province to this small Kingdom, which is also home to the US Fifth Fleet. Neither the Saudis nor the Americans will abandon their key interests. This much is clear. Likewise, it is inhuman that the staunchly Sunni regime in Bahrain, should treat 80 percent of the population, all Shias, as the “opposition”. This majority population has faced state repression for demanding their human rights since the Arab Spring first stirred.
The Western media has been predicting the fall of Bashar al Assad for the past year. An externally induced civil war is on the cards but the collapse of the regime has not materialized.
When the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan got into a scrum to launch a programme of manufacturing triple distilled mujahideen Islam in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets the seeds were sown for a conflict within Islam as well.
Like Osama bin Laden, Ratkin Mladic was clearly helped in escaping arrest so far.
China’s response to the recent protests for democratic change in North Africa and the Arab world has been one that has mixed caution with aggressive diplomacy.
Since Obama names almost every Arab country which is reforming or needs reform, the omission of Riyadh places Saudis beyond all critical examination as the perfect society.
Ever since the Ayatullahs came to power in Teheran in 1979, the Saudi state has been firm in handling Shia restiveness in the province, real or imagined.