Well, this particular powder keg looks as if it's coming to a high-rolling boil much sooner than expected. The Saudis are evidently very confident that the Iranians don't yet have launchable nukes to go around making a public spectacle of executing Shiite clerics, just as I am very confident that nobody noticed how I mixed such thoroughly incompatible metaphors above, so much so that I'm pointing it out here below. I can only hope that they're right about that.
The Saudis, I mean. Otherwise they'd be well-advised to change the shipping on their Pakistani-made warheads to next-day-delivery:
Angry crowds protesting at Saudi Arabia's execution of a top Shiite cleric hurled petrol bombs and stormed the kingdom's embassy in Tehran Saturday before being cleared out by police, ISNA news agency reported.
In Mashhad, Iran's second biggest city, demonstrators meanwhile set fire to the Saudi consulate, according to news sites, carrying pictures of the alleged assault.
Which Iranian police could surely have prevented altogether if the mullahs had wanted them to. Iran is a totalitarian police state. They don't let any crowds form spontaneously, because if they did, the angry crowds would more than likely come after them. And remember that it was angry crowds that led to the Islamic Fundamentalist takeover of Iran in the first place way back in 1978, and an angry crowd that sacked the U.S. embassy in Tehran a year later. The angry crowd gimmick is on page one of the mullahgarchic playbook. So this angry crowd was deliberately assembled and sicced on the Saudi embassy and consulate to send a message to Riyadh, not organically grew out of a YouTube video about Paul Ryan's beard that has half a dozen views but will now go viral.
The incidents came hours after the announcement of the death of fifty-six-year-old cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a key figure in anti-government protests in the kingdom since 2011. [emphasis added]
The Saudis have been holding this camel f-er for four years and only NOW do they behead his a....well, behead him, anyway? Looks like the Saudis are sending messages of their own.
It is, indeed, hard to find fault with this official Iranian statement:
Predominantly-Shiite Iran, the Sunni kingdom's longtime rival, said in reaction to Nimr's execution that "the Saudi government supports terrorist movements and extremists, but confronts domestic critics with oppression and execution."
Yeah, they pretty much do.
And then they added, ominously:
It will "pay a high price for following these policies," Jaber Ansari had warned before the attacks took place. [emphasis added]
Yeah, those crowds were as spontaneous as a prostate examination. But it's impossible to believe that the scope of that unveiled threat ends just there.
In response, Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said it had summoned Iran's envoy to protest at the "aggressive Iranian statements on the legal sentences carried out today".
The Saudis either don't want to push the confrontation further for now or they don't believe they can take the Iranians on their own and know they can't rely upon the U.S. to back them up given Barack Obama's have switched sides for all intents and purposes. But then why did they flaunt Nimr al-Nimr's execution right in Tehran's collective face? To see how severely the mullahs would retaliate?
Boy, if only there were a benign global superpower with the military strength, diplomatic credibility, and global influence to restrain both antagonists by its very deterrent presence and keep this kerfuffle from spinning out of control. We could really use such country to step up right about now.
UPDATE (1/3): The Saudis have broken off diplomatic relations with Iran:
Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran Sunday after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in a growing diplomatic crisis between the regional rivals following the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference Iran's diplomatic mission and related entities in Saudi Arabia had been given 48 hours to leave. He said Riyadh would not allow the Islamic [Empire] to undermine the Sunni kingdom's security.
Shi'ite Muslim Iran's top leader predicted "divine vengeance" for the execution.
The Obama State Commissariat condemned the Saudi executions and called for the usual "restraint," which is precisely to be expected from a mullahgarchic stooge regime.
The ball is now in Tehran's court. Have the Saudis called their bluff or will they escalate with terrorist strikes against Saudi targets?