Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah dies, succeeded by King Salman. The former king's half-brother Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz takes the throne after the passing of the 93-year-old monarch. Debka cites an ambitious Iran, the encroaching Islamic State, and revolutionary Yemen (see below) as security concerns facing the new king. Reuters: '"Times are dangerous," said Joseph Kechichian, a scholar of Gulf Arab ruling families. "Mohammed bin Nayef's appointment shows Salman feels it's important to speak quickly with a single determined voice in the face of all these threats."'
Yemen: President Hadi resigns after Houthi takeover. The Iranian-backed, Shi'a Houthis now appear to be running the show in Yemen. To give you an idea of where they're coming from, their slogan is 'God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.' For Yemen-related updates, follow long-time Yemen watcher Jane Novak on Twitter.
The fact that the Iranian regime behaves this way at home does not by itself make a deal with Iran impossible. The United States has a transactional alliance with Saudi Arabia despite its government being no less grotesque. But the geopolitical interests of Washington and Riyadh overlap while the geopolitical interests of Washington and Tehran are entirely at odds with each other. ...
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