Tensions Rise in Saudi Arabia’s Shi’ite East in Wake of Iran Clash


JAFFA, Israel – The ongoing crisis in Saudi-Iranian relations has trickled into the Saudi Arabia’s predominantly Shi’ite, oil-rich eastern region, Arab media outlets have reported.

Saudi police launched an inquiry into an attack on a bus taking government officials to the eastern city of Al Qatif. It was pulled over by armed militiamen, who forced the passengers to disembark before setting the bus ablaze.

The incident, in which no injuries were reported, is believed to come in response to last week’s execution of the high-profile Shi’ite cleric Nimer al Nimer.

The Saudi government has stepped up security measures in the region in a bid to prevent clashes that Riyadh believes Iran is actively encouraging and could spill over into neighboring countries like Bahrain, which has a significant Shi’ite population.

Meanwhile, Prince Walid bin Talal announced on Wednesday that he has withdrawn all his investments from Iran, and that he refused to meet Tehran’s ambassador.