Nimr Execution Is Latest Unforced Error for Saudi Arabia

An Iranian woman holds up a poster of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr at a protest, Tehran, Iran, Jan. 4, 2016 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).
An Iranian woman holds up a poster of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr at a protest, Tehran, Iran, Jan. 4, 2016 (AP photo by Vahid Salemi).
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The shocking news that Saudi Arabia executed 47 people over the weekend, including Shiite cleric and opposition figure Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, got the new year off to a tense start in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. The executions have already caused a worsening of Saudi-Iran relations and foreshadow heightened sectarian-driven tensions across the region. But there are other consequences as well. Forty-seven convicted criminals, most of them charged with terrorism by a special court created in 2008, were executed by beheading and firing squad on Jan. 2 in multiple locations in the kingdom. Most were Sunni radicals, affiliated […]

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