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Hard-line Saudis want Mideast on fire: Analyst

Iraqis hold posters of prominent Shia cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr during a demonstration in the southern Iraqi city of Basra, January 4, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Press TV has interviewed Kevin Barrett, a political commentator, and Kenneth Katzman, an author and Middle East expert, to discuss the latest repercussions of the execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by Saudi Arabia.

Barrett says the Saudis anticipated all of the repercussions of executing a prominent Shia cleric who just wanted to support peaceful reforms in the kingdom. He adds that Saudi Arabia is “pursuing a new conservative strategy of tension” in the region.

He says, “The extremist forces in Saudi Arabia together with the extremist neo-conservative forces in the United States have decided to set the Middle East on fire and it has been burning ever since the World Trade Center was blown up with explosives on September 11, 2001.”

“The Saudis currently are working overtime trying to spread sectarian tension in the region,” he says, adding that the Saudi officials feel “they need chaos in order to survive” because “the Saudis are the relic regime of the era of colonialism.”

Katzman, for his part, says the Saudi move to cut ties with Iran seems to be a continuation of reactions to what the kingdom claims is “meddling in its internal affairs” from other international players.

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