Posted: Tue Feb 15, 2011 6:35 am Post subject: Saudi Arabia * GCC
Bahrain unrest problem for US military
February 15, 2011
Thousands gather for funeral of demonstrator who died in protests in Gulf.
Security forces in Bahrain fired tear gas and bird shot on mourners gathered for funeral procession.
This raises the possibility of more rallies and challenges to the ruling Sunni monarchy in Bahrain, a strategic Western ally and home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet.
Protesters day of rage coincided with major anti-government demonstrations in Iran and Yemen.
In the past week, Bahrain's rulers have attempted to undermine calls for reform by promising $2,700 for each family and pledging to loosen state controls on the media.
A main Shiite opposition group, Al Wefaq, denounced the tactics of security forces against the first major rallies in the Gulf since uprisings toppled long-ruling regimes in Tunisia and Egypt.
Bahrain's protesters claim they do not seek to overthrow the ruling monarchy but want greater political freedoms and sweeping changes in how the country is run.
But many Sunnis in Bahrain also are highly suspicious of Shiite activists, claiming they seek to undermine the state and have cultural bonds with Shiite heavyweight Iran. An ongoing trial in Bahrain accuses 25 Shiites of plotting against the country's leadership.
70% of the population of Bahrain are Shiite.
Iran, Bahrain and Yemen, protesters take to streets
February 15, 2011
Street clashes broke out across the Persian Gulf region as demonstrators in Iran, Bahrain and Yemen sought to capitalize on the recent uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia and swept by the thousands into the streets, where they were met by riot police.
The tumult in a region normally kept tranquil under the heavy-handed security of conservative Gulf regimes underscored the widening reverberations of fledgling pro-democracy movements in the Middle East, though the protesters' numbers have been small in comparison to the demonstrations that brought down the government of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt last week.
Tehran's streets turned into a chaotic mass of broken glass, burning trash bins, rocks and tear gas as thousands of people marched Monday toward Azadi Square, some clashing along the way with riot police in the first major reformist demonstration since widespread protests over a tainted national election that in December 2009 that left eight people dead.
"Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it's time for Sayed Ali!" some protesters shouted, referring to the former presidents of Egypt and Tunisia and Iran's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.
Though past street protests most often have featured slogans targeting President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government, Monday's rally more often attacked the supreme leadership itself, the underpinning of the entire Islamic state that seized power in a revolution of its own just over three decades ago.
"It's very interesting to see that the revolution of Iran is being questioned by its own people, with people saying it didn't bring them anything significant," said Mahjoob Zweiri, an Iran expert and professor of contemporary history at Doha University in Qatar.
But he said it would be premature to assume that Iranian protesters are pushing to overturn the ruling Shiite Muslim theocracy. "They are against some of the policies, they are against the approach of the state. But so far, they are not calling for the fall of the regime," he said.
In Bahrain, a small island emirate on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf near Saudi Arabia, riot police attacked hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and pellets, according to human rights observers. A member of parliament reported at least one protester dead and three injured. Yemen, meanwhile, was undergoing its fourth consecutive day of protests, with a reported 17 people wounded in two separate clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and pro-government activists, with riot police trying to stand between the two.
In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. "clearly and directly" supports the protesters' aspirations in Iran. "What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people, and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime — a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt," Clinton said.
Protests also reportedly broke out in the Iranian cities of Isfahan, Shiraz, Kermanshah and Rasht, and at least one person died in the clashes in Tehran
more - -
Saudis ready to aid Bahraini ruler
February 16, 2011 debkaFirst riots in Libya after Yemen, Jordan
Despite security police efforts to dislodge them, anti-government protesters continued to occupy the main square of Manama, Bahrain Tuesday night, Feb. 15, even after its ruler, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa made a rare television appearance to regret the two deaths and promised a full investigation.
Wednesday, first protests were reported in Libya, starting in Benghazi, where eyewitnesses report police responded to stone-throwers with water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets.
In Yemen, security forces stayed on alert after five days of disturbances by protesters demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's removal from power although he promised not to run again when his term ends in 2013. Wednesday saw, security forces in Jordan and the army in Syria on high alert.
Saudi Arabia is especially alarmed by the swelling protest in its small but strategic neighbor, Bahrain, site of US Fifth Fleet headquarters for the Gulf region.
For the first time, Sunni Muslims joined the majority Shiite protest against the rule of the Al Khalifas who have been in power since 1971.
Shortly before dawn Wednesday, Feb. 16, the Bahraini king secretly asked the Saudis for riot dispersal gear for his security forces to break up the protests.
He also asked Saudi Arabia to place its security forces on the ready in case they got out of hand.
Riyadh had already taken action out of fear that its own large Shiite minority in the eastern oil-rich regions of the kingdom catch fire from Bahrain. Tuesday, security and military forces were rushed to those regions and security stepped up at the oil facilities and ports of eastern Saudi Arabia, most of which are manned by Shiites who are close to their coreligionists over the bridge in Bahrain.
To the north, Jordan too was rocked by serious street protests, a serious menace to the throne because they are staged with increasing intensity by indigenous Bedouin tribes, the traditional backbone of the Hashemite royal house. Overnight, armed tribesmen blocked Highway No. 1, the main road into the capital Amman, demanding the restoration of lands, which they claim were stolen from them over the years by the royal family and the Jordanian government.
Last week, 36 Bedouin tribal chieftains sent a letter to King Abdullah II with demands that he cede some of his prerogatives including the right to appoint prime ministers and ministers and
cut down on extravagant royal spending, especially by Queen Rania, when more money should be diverted to helping the poor.
Unrest against the Jordanian king has been simmering for weeks posing his rule with a double problem.
For now, the Bedouins are making the most noise while the Muslim Brotherhood and the majority Palestinian population are biding their time, waiting to jump in when the see the first crack in the royal stand against the disturbances.
The second problem is more serious. The Jordanian army consists of Bedouin fighters belonging to the same tribes as the protesters out on the streets. The royal security services have the same makeup. A crackdown against the demonstrations could spark a wholesale Bedouin mutiny against the Hashemite royal house or even the first Bedouin coup against a Jordanian monarch.
This peril and a range of responses were discussed Saturday, February 12, when US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen visited Amman and met King Abdullah.
Mullen also discussed the situation in Jordan, Israel's second peace partner, with Israel leaders Sunday and Monday (February 13-14).
Tuesday night, US President Barack Obama warned "autocratic rulers" that they cannot maintain their hold on power through coercion and force and must recognize the "world is changing."
In Syria, too, although President Bashar Assad Tuesday put on a big show of unconcern by mingling unescorted among a crowd of affectionate admirers in Damascus, the situation is very tense. Early Wednesday, he placed Syrian security forces and the army on high alert in readiness for the Day of Anger called for Friday, Feb. 18, by opposition organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood. After Syrian intelligence received word that it was planned to be the most serious attempt to date to shake the dynastic Assad regime, police and security strength in Syrian cities were beefed up. Heavy reinforcements were moved into the Kurdish areas of the north, where the most violent protests are anticipated.
Assad has adopted the Iranian tactic of exerting maximum force to break up crowds as they form and giving security forces a free hand to open fire with live ammunition without having to ask for permission.
An earlier Syrian opposition demonstration attempt - Saturday February 5 – was quickly nipped in the bud by the preponderance of security forces in the streets. A small demonstration of several hundred took off in the northeastern town of Hasaka but nowhere else.
debkafile's sources say this coming Friday may be different: Opposition groups in the universities, and among the Sunnis, Kurds and Palestinians, are all gearing up for a large turnout in Damascus.
Last edited by CJ on Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
Police break up Pearl Square crowd
17 February 2011
Security forces in Bahrain have dispersed thousands of anti-government protesters in Pearl Square in the centre of Manama.
Hundreds of riot police using tear gas and batons moved in before dawn, with tanks now reported on some streets.
3 people died in the police operation, with 100 injured.
Ibrahim Sharif claimed the police had acted without any warning. However, the crowd had been warned. Muslims lie.
Iran roils Bahrain to stir Saudi revolts, executes protesters in Iran
February 17, 2011 DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
Tanks rolled into Pearl Square, Manama, early Thursday, Feb. 17, personally commanded by King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa in full military regalia, hours after his police firing live ammunition and tear gas failed to break up the tent city set up by protesters against his rule. At least four protesters were killed and dozens injured.
The monarch has divided his small 9,000-strong army into three parts, one for Pearl Square, a second to guard the Bahrain Petroleum Co. refinery which produces 267,000 barrels of oil a day and forms the backbone of the Bahraini economy; and a third placed around the royal palace and the residential districts of the ruling elite.
Al-Khalifa has two major difficulties to crack: For the first time, the king's biggest Shiite party, al-Wefaq has joined up with all 10 opposition parties to coordinate their protest action. The Shiite party leader, Sheik Ali Salman, says he is not seeking to establish an Islamic regime in Manama like the one in Tehran. debkafile's sources say he is after one-man rule for himself and his words are about as reliable as the pledges of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood to eschew a role in government.
But the Bahraini ruler's most acute problem is that while the Arabic and world media lump the protest movement in his kingdom with the pro-democracy uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, it is not the same in that it does not just represent genuine people power fighting an autocratic regime for reforms, but is fomented from Tehran.
Iran's objective is to overthrow the Al-Khalifa regime and replace it with the first pro-Iranian government in the Arabian Gulf region. A Shiite regime in Manama will stir the Shiite minorities to revolt in other oil-rich Gulf states - and especially in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, where they make up around one-fifth of the population.
In Tehran itself, meanwhile, debkafile's Iranian sources report that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad early Thursday conferred with Revolutionary Guards and Basij leaders on ways to further crack down on opposition protests after two days of harsh measures. Since Monday, 1,400 protesters have been arrested and their whereabouts are unknown. At least two died of bullet wounds.
The leaders of Iran's Islamic regime fear that the youngsters in Iranian cities will catch fire from the uprisings in Arab countries and be willing to fight for its overthrow.
As a key deterrent, an increase in the number of executions of dissidents was agreed between Ahmadinejad,
most of his aides, Prosecutor General Mohseni-eEjehee, the commander Internal Security Forces, Mohammad Reza Radan Mohammad Reza Naghdi, and the ultra-radical Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, Chairman of the Constitution Committee.
This measure later won the support of Ali Larijani, Speaker of the Majlis, who on Wednesday led 200 deputies in shouting for the two opposition Green Movement leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to be put to death.
debkafile's sources report: In the coming days, the world will be shown millions of young Iranians pouring into the streets of Tehran and other cities shouting pro-government slogans - alongside the executions of dozens of young Iranian democracy-seekers.
By killing them, the regime will try and break the back of the Mousavi-Karroubi opposition movement. Judging on past form, they will not be deterred by international condemnation.
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Bahrain calls for toppling monarchy
February 18, 2011
5 dead in protests. Thousands called for the downfall of Bahrain's ruling Sunni monarchy after a deadly assault on pro-reform protesters that has brought army tanks into the streets of one of the most strategic Western allies in the Gulf.
Saudi Intervention in Bahrain
March 14, 2011 Forces from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will enter Bahrain to help the Bahraini regime quell unrest.
Saudi forces have already entered Bahrain, troops from United Arab Emirates will arrive shortly. stratfor intel
Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition force into Bahrain to help the government calm the unrest there.
This move puts Iran in a difficult position, as Tehran had hoped to use the uprising in Bahrain to promote instability in the Persian Gulf region.
Iran could refrain from acting and lose an opportunity to destabilize the region,
or it could choose from several other options that do not seem particularly effective. George Friedman, Stratfor intel
Bahrain locks down kingdom as uprising surges
March 16, 2011 Soldiers and riot police in Bahrain overran a protesters' camp, imposed a 12-hour curfew and choked off movement nationwide Wednesday. Witnesses described helicopters firing on homes in a hunt for Shiites and attacking doctors treating the wounded, while the government called the demonstrators "outlaws" for demanding an end to the monarchy.
The nation that once led the Middle East in entrepreneurial openness went into lockdown, its government propped up by troops from Sunni Gulf neighbors fearful for their own rule and the spread of Shiite Iran's influence.
The unrest that began last month increasingly looks like a sectarian showdown. The country's Sunni leaders are desperate to hold power, and majority Shiites want more rights and an end to the monarchy.
Wednesday's assault began in Pearl Square, the center of the uprising inspired by Arab revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. But the violence that left at least five people dead on Wednesday did not stop in the capital.
Doctors at the country's main hospital said their facility was taken over by security forces, blocking physicians from either leaving or treating the wounded on site.
Saudi Arabia Annexes Bahrain
WHAT! Thats where the US 5th fleet is!
March 28, 2011 Riyadh turns island into its outer defense line against Iran.
Saudi Arabia Virtually Annexes Bahrain, Will Build a Missile-Naval Base opposite Iran
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Arab spring spreads to Saudi Arabia
January 30, 2011 While the biggest threat to the Middle East region is the possibility that the population of Saudi Arabia may try to imitate what has been happening in the area, thereby bringing total chaos to the established regional geopolitical and more importantly, energy, structure, the first protests in the Saudi Arabia city of Jeddah are already in the books. The clip below shows the peaceful demonstrations that have taken place recently, which as Fedupmontrealer explains are "taking place in front of the Municipality in protest of the severe lack of infrastructure, and corruption, that led the city to be inundated this week causing billions of dollars of damages for the second time in two years." That this is even occurring in a state where the average wealth is orders of magnitude greater than in Egypt is remarkable. On the other hand, we expect more news such as those from yeserday that Kuwait is paying its citizens $3,500 plus free food for a year to keep calm. Oddly, visions of money dropping helicopters, infinitely extendable unemployment insurance and tax breaks keep dancing in our head.
IRAN threatens Saudi Arabia
March 3, 2011 March 11 is the first Day of Anger planned in Saudi Arabia, Iran warned Riyadh against cracking down on the Shiites in Arabia.
Saudi considered that unprecedented interference in Saudi domestic affairs.
Hellary Clinton accused Iran of using its Lebanese surrogate Hellzballah to influence events in the Arab world.
Truth from HELLary - Im shocked!
IRAN threatened that Saudi Arabia could be the next target of the revolution engulfing the Arab world.
Silence on Saudi King's medical condition
December 19, 2010 No outsider has seen 87 year old Saudi King Abdullah and no medical bulletins have been issued since Dec. 3 when he underwent an operation at the Presbyterian Hospital, New York USA. He and his relatives have taken over a whole hospital wing and the entire Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Saudi is the dominant power of the Persian Gulf.
Dec. 15, concern for his health sharpened after US VP Joe Biden was not admitted to the king's bedside when he visited the New York Hospital with a letter from
Obama. I wouldnt want Biden anywhere near me if I was ill. Somewhere I read the king's life is under threat, he may be hiding. Dont know.
There is a question of who will take the throne when king dies.
Saudi Arabia Day of Rage originally scheduled for Friday, March 11 is re-scheduled to Monday, March 7.
March 7, 2011 Seems odd to me you can schedule riots like this.
Riots against the Saudi throne are planned by Shia for several towns in Arabia.
Remember - mosques are bases for WARS and weapons are stockpiled in them.
Once Saudi Arabia falls, so will Bahrain where the US 5th Fleet has its base, and Oman and UAE - ALL the Gulf states will fall, then how can we get our troops out of Iraq?
Here are many details
Saudi police patrol Riyadh ahead of demonstrations
March 11, 2011 Friday
Hundreds of police have been deployed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, ahead of anti-government rallies planned for after Friday prayers.
Security forces have blocked roads and set up checkpoints.
Analysts have warned that any violence could have a big impact on global oil prices.
Protests are illegal in Saudi Arabia, which has had an absolute monarchy.
* combined threads
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Oil could hit $200-$300 on Saudi unrest-Yamani
Apr 5, 2011
* Political discontent in Saudi not resolved-Yamani
* "Surprises on the horizon" Yamani predicts
* Consultant says Saudi a "time bomb", change inevitable
LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) - Oil prices could rocket to $200- $300 a barrel if the world's top crude exporter Saudi Arabia is hit by serious political unrest, former Saudi oil minister Sheikh Zaki Yamani told Reuters on Tuesday.
Yamani said he saw no immediate sign of further trouble following protests last month calling for political reforms but said that underlying discontent remained unresolved.
"If something happens in Saudi Arabia it will go to $200 to $300. I don't expect this for the time being, but who would have expected Tunisia?" Yamani told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference of the Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES) which he chairs.
"The political events that took place are there and we don't expect them to finish. I think there are some surprises on the horizon," he said in a speech.
Saudi Arabia - Iran War
April 5, 2011 Bahrain now the 14th province of Saudi Arabia
Saudi King Abdullah made a deal with the Bahraini monarch Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for Arabia to annex Bahrain. Tehran is ticked off!
WAR may soon become unavoidable.
IRAQ who USA liberated with our blood and assets will join IRAN against Saudi.
US Fifth Fleet has its headquarters in Bahrain. Saudi may evict them.
Bahrain King Hamad agreed to hand to Riyadh control of Bahrain defense, external, financial and domestic security affairs.
The Saudi Prince Mutaib was confirmed as commander of the Saudi and GCC forces.
Saudi was called into Bahrain to help put down the Shiite uprising, and would soon build a naval base there, opposite Iran.
Bahraini will not be governed by a Saudi prince like the others but by a member of the Al Khalifa royal family who will enjoy equal royal privileges with his Saudi peers.
Iran - Hellzballah are actively stirring up uprising against the Saudi throne.
Saudi forces now guarding Bahrain borders against any external attack.
Planes taking off from Iraq or Lebanon would not be permitted to land in the kingdom.
The Saudi fleet will move from the Gulf of Oman and Red Sea to the military section of Bahrain where the US Fifth Fleet has its headquarters and berths its ships.
Iran compares Saudi actions in Bahrain to Saddam Hussein in Kuwait, but Kuwait did not invite Saddam, Bahrain asked Saudi.
Iraq's Shiite PM Maliki reviled US Middle East policy.
The threats from Tehran and Baghdad prompted the Gulf Cooperation Council to hold a meeting which condemned Iran interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain. Saudi King Abdullah is ready to challenge Tehran headon.
Saudi action against Iran
April 20, 2011 Iranian students rampage in Tehran
Saudi Arabia gave up on US and Israel confronting Iran and prepares to act.
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman have reached a parting-of-the ways with Washington,
King Abdullah can NOT forgive 0bama for throwing former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to the wolves.
Saudi Arabia will lead the Gulf region to confront Iran.
Thousands of Iranian students have laid seige tothe Saudi embassy in Tehran.
Iran warned Pakistan against allowing Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to buy troops, and beefed up its strength along the Pakistani border.
Syrian president Bashar Assad claims the revolt against him was instigated from Riyadh.
Will IRAN invade Saudi Arabia
April 24, 2011 A Middle East powderkeg is brewing.
Shia Iran is considering handing Sunni Saudi Arabia an ultimatum over Bahrain.
Iran could block the Straits of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf - this is NOT a new threat.
Bahrain and the Saudis blame Iran for instigating the violent demonstrations.
The liklihood is VERY HIGH that Iran is behind all the unrest, toppling leaders of nations, to cause Armageddon to bring their Mahdi. KNOW YOUR ENEMY.
IRAQ will support IRAN, dirty ungrateful Muslims. The NWO is behind it all.
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May 31, 2011 debka
Israeli-Saudi Strategic Concord
In secret deal, Netanyahu gains Saudi backing for military option against Iran.
Saudis Have Big Plans for a Divided Yemen
They are pushing for a new Saudi-ruled Arab Republic in southern Yemen.
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Saudi prince raises prospect of nuclear arms race with Iran
Iran and Saudi Arabia are in proxy conflicts around the world
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief, has warned that if Iran obtained nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia would too. Analysts say the two are already engaged in a 'cold war' in various parts of the world.
Britain's Guardian newspaper revealed recently that Prince Turki al-Faisal gave an unpublicized speech earlier this month to senior officials at a NATO air base in the UK during which the former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington and Britain implied that a nuclear arms race could break out in the Middle East if Iran continues to pursue its nuclear ambitions.Faisal did not outline specific policies, but warned that if Iran had a nuclear weapon, it "would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences."The newspaper also quoted an unnamed Saudi official as saying "we cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don't."
"If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable and we will have to follow suit," the official said.
September 17, 2011
O-LIES - Barak Obama is a pathalogical liar - FACT, not hate.
FACT - The Arab revolt was orchestrated by the NWO (new world order, globalists.)
Claim - Saudi warned Obama not to veto the Palestinian drive for statehood in the UN.
This article is a LIE according to what I read elsewhere. Saudi DOES NOT WANT a Palestinian state!
Claim - Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah have a good understanding.
The key diplomatic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States is good despite disagreements. O-LIE.
FACT - King Abdullah was FURIOUS at Obama for abandoning Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak.
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October 22, 2011
Prince Nayef, Saudi Crown Prince-in-waiting
*It appears Abdullah died but the langage is too mysterious to be sure.
If there is a funeral, he is dead - right?
O good, USA media is not unclear. He died. Wait .. who died?
When you figure it out, let me know.
Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz's long-expected passing aged 87 in New York Saturday, Oct. 22 could not have happened at a more auspicious time for his presumed successor,
Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz, to move up as next in line to the throne after King Abdullah.
With the rest of the Arab world beset by anti-regime uprisings - and just two days after Libya's Muammar Qaddafi was brutally killed in the streets of Misrata -
the Saudi kingdom's 60-year old succession system offers a singularly smooth transition of power.
Saudi hardheaded Prince Nayef may step into the shoes of Sultan
Nayef has a record of suppressing domestic opposition with an iron fist
He is a conservative in Saudi terms, meaning he is close to the clerical establishment.
In Saudi Arabia the imams are full partners with the royal rulers and will be especially supportive of Nayef.
Nayef favors Muslim Brotherhood hardline jihad Islam, empowered by the Arab spring
Oct 25 is Abdullah state funeral
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Dies
Hmmm .. now I am more confused
The heir to the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saud, died abroad Saturday after an illness, state TV said.
The death of the 85-year-old prince opens questions about the succession in the critical, oil-rich U.S. ally.
HAJJ to Mecca could become violent
October 26, 2011 Growing tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran threaten war.
The Hajj annual pilgrimage in which millions of Muslims converge on Mecca in Saudi Arabia is threatening to become a flashpoint.
Pilgrims have already begun arriving, expected to peak in the second week of November.
Both Saudi Arabia and Iran regards itself as the leader of its wing of Islam.
The US troop withdrawal from Iraq will create a power vacuum that tempts both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia names new crown prince Nayef is hardline Islamic, NOT good!
October 26, 2011 RIYADH, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia named a new crown prince, the tough-talking interior minister
who is known for cracking down on Islamic militants and resisting moves toward greater openness in the ultraconservative kingdom.
Prince Nayef bin Abdel-Aziz Al Saud is heir to the Saudi throne following the death of the previous second in line, Crown Prince Sultan, last week.
Nayef would assume the throne upon the death of King Abdullah, 87, who is recovering from his third operation to treat back problems in less than a year.
Video on Saudi TV showed the king sitting in an armchair, wearing a white headscarf and robe, with another cream-colored robe draped over his shoulders. He did not speak.
Images broadcast earlier this week from the funeral of Prince Sultan showed the king with a surgical mask covering his face.
Prince Sultan died in New York Saturday at the age of 80 after an unspecified illness.
Traditionally, the king chooses his heir. But Prince Nayef was chosen by Allegiance Council, a 37-member body composed of his brothers and cousins. Abdullah created the council as part of his reforms and gave it a mandate to choose the heir.
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