It's On: Saudi Arabia Severs Diplomatic Ties With Iran, "Does Not Care" If It Has Angered White House

Tyler Durden's picture

Earlier today, as Iranian police struggled to disperse protesters gathered outside the Saudi consulate in Mashhad, we said the following about the rapidly deteriorating situation:

If crude needed an excuse to rally, then surely this is it as it now appears that in addition to the fact that Riyadh and Tehran are squaring off in Syria (where Iran is present and the Saudis fight by proxy) and Yemen (where the Saudis are present and the Iranians fight by proxy), the two countries are on the verge of a historic diplomatic crisis which has the potential to stoke sectarian violence across the Muslim world.

Well sure enough, just hours later, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Ahmad Al-Jubeir announced that Riyadh has cut diplomatic ties with Tehran. The Saudis have demanded the Iran mission leave the country within 48 hours.

Jubeir said the attack in Tehran was in line with what he said were earlier Iranian assaults on foreign embassies there and with Iranian policies of destabilizing the region by creating "terrorist cells" in Saudi Arabia.

"The kingdom, in light of these realities, announces the cutting of diplomatic relations with Iran and requests the departure of delegates of diplomatic missions of the embassy and consulate and offices related to it within 48 hours. The ambassador has been summoned to notify them," he said.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir

Riyadh also claims Iran did not attempt to stop protesters from storming the consulate.

Here's are the main bullet points:


Promptly thereafter, Washington responded to Saudi Arabia's decision by calling for leaders throughout the region to take "affirmative steps" to reduce tensions, Reuters reports.

"We're aware of reports that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ordered the closure of Iranian diplomatic missions in the Kingdom," an Obama administration official said.

"We believe that diplomatic engagement and direct conversations remain essential in working through differences and we will continue to urge leaders across the region to take affirmative steps to calm tensions."

However, at this point the Saudis are beyond caring what Obama thinks, and made that quite clear. As reported previously, here’s the latest out of Riyadh, via Reuters:


For those who might have missed it, the situation began to unravel on Saturday after Riyadh said it had executed prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr along with 46 other prisoners. Protesters poured into the streets from Bahrain to Pakistan and before the night was done, the Saudi embassy in Tehran was in flames. 

All of this comes as Iran is projecting its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, posing a threat to Saudi regional hegemony just as international sanctions on Tehran are set to be lifted. 

The comments from Al-Jubeir seem to indicate that Riyadh is set to step up efforts to rein in the so-called "Shiite crescent", possibly by getting more involved in Syria, doubling down on the kingdom's commitment to the fight in Yemen, and, quite possibly, taking a more assertive role in Iraq by using the fight against ISIS as a smokescreen for some manner of intervention. 

It's also worth noting how absurd it is for the Saudis to suggest that the Iranians are the ones "spreading chaos and sectarianism" in the region. After all, it wasn't Tehran that just executed a prominent member of another sect and it's not Iran that preaches a dangerous, ultra puritanical interpretation of Islam similar to that which Sunni extremists use to justify the execution of apostates. Further, it wasn't Iran that destabilized Syria by fanning the flames of sectarian discord.

In any event, this an exceptionally serious situation that could well mushroom into a direct conflict between the two countries which are already on opposite sides of multiple regional proxy wars.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
DetectiveStern's picture

Nimr al-Nimr = Franz Ferdinand?

38BWD22's picture



As long as we stay OUT, I don't really care what happens over there.  Not like any of us can change it anyway.

It's up to each of us to find our own way.

Pinto Currency's picture



Iran has been trading oil for gold recently.

Saudi has been taking soon to be worthless Western paper money - even buying Citi and FaceBook shares with some of it.  When Saudi citizens wake up to their wealth being converted to Western garbage, they will not be very happy.

So Saudi chops off some heads and starts a war.  Their way of changing the subject.

underman's picture

--> Good for 5% pop in oil futures Sun night

--> Non-event

Ghost of PartysOver's picture

I wish they would have some jerseys.  I always forget who is on whose team.  Is Oblamo's father Sunni or Shiite?  Which side is he going to take?   Being the Nobel Peace Prize winner and of course the Messiah and all  will he pick a side.   Sucks to be the Little People in the USSA as we will be pulled into this thing when all hell breaks lose.

The_Juggernaut's picture

About time they got back to the business of killing each other.

svayambhu108's picture

Saudi Arabia in their hubris phase

Luc X. Ifer's picture

Best news of the year so far. Bring it on the table ragheads!

Xibalba's picture

SA = USA.  Iran = USSR.  Careful about what you wish

Stuck on Zero's picture

When are countries ever going to wise up and start building their embassies out of concrete, steel, asbestos, granite, etc.?

RafterManFMJ's picture

It'll be interesting how long it takes our BILLION dollar embassy in Bagdad to be over-run and burned.

CheapBastard's picture

Oil will continue to dip for awhile but I have to agree with some energy folks who say ultimately it will cycle up and maybe to $150 or higher. The oversupply + slowing global economies will hamper any upward price though notwithstanding this ME conflict so if one buys any energy stuff or commodity stawks, must be able to hold for awhile I suspect.

Occident Mortal's picture

The Saudi's have lost the plot.


Ever since King Abdullah was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, Saudi Arabia has been set on a path of self destruction.

eatthebanksters's picture

So the Nobel Peace Prize winner starts WWlll....hahahaha...I know those prizes were a joke...even that idiot Al Gore got one!

xavi1951's picture


Motasaurus's picture

"Ever since King Abdullah was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, Saudi Arabia has been set on a path of self destruction."

Maybe the contract with London was for a set number of generations, and with the impending (and then actual) death of Abdullah the contract got one step closer to total expiration. 

xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) Motasaurus Jan 4, 2016 2:24 AM

Saudi Arabia needs to be teached a GOOD LESSON by Uncle Sam.

This will paint the best picture:

Lore's picture

I don't see how the Saudis have done anything to "anger" anyone other than the family and friends of their head-chopped victims. America seems to actively support anybody who sows chaos, especially in that region of the world: fuck around in somebody else's backyard, and you're liable to receive airdrops of supplies and arms and a cadre of "trainers" and "logistical advisors" eager to help you out in your "fight for freedom," or whatever you choose to call it -- just as long as you don't stand in the way of narcotics trafficking or approved petrodollar-based energy projects and infrastructure.

Fullthrottle's picture

This wont mean shit for oil prices long team. A Global meltdown is occurring soon to hit the fatherland. 20$ a bbl oil is still on its way.

Farqued Up's picture

No fire, no drama, no flames, no inflames of peace, no cover to hide their bad deeds. Fire good, bottles bouncing off concrete, nothing.

NoPension's picture


These fucking retards construct hotels with cladding made out of tissue paper and matchsticks.

3.......2.......1...... But at least they don't implode in their own footprint!

maxwellsdemon's picture

The WTC towers exploded, not imploded.   WTC 1 turned into a crater shaped rubble pile whose center was at the level of of the sidewalk.    Just pause this video at 1 minute and 17 seconds:


The solitary central column sticking up from the center of the footprint is all that's left of the concrete mast, 15 feet by 20 feet in cross section and located in the center of WTC 1.   It was a huge dense structure of concrete added to prevent the building from twisting since long steel columns easily twist.  The Empire state has concrete masonry on the outside as it's stiffening element, but the WTC were designed with this concrete on the inside.


You don't need to model the dynamics of the collapse itself to prove that WTC 1 was destroyed by explosives placed inside since the theromdyanmic argument is incontrovertible; the only way that the 600K tons of WTC 1 rubble could not have fallen in the footprint and formed an expected 100 foot tall pile of debris, is if the building contents were blown outward.   The picture is the QED smoking gun that explosives were used. 


Here is a high res picture (second from the top)


Here is a youtube video showing semtex found in the rubble:

Nexus789's picture

 Would the US trade the destruction of Washington and New York to protect a bunch of head choppers?

BarkingCat's picture

Is this a trick question?

skepsis101's picture

Scratching my head here, Xi!!!!!   I thought the USSR ceased to exist over 25 years ago, or was I asleep these last few decades.  Hrumph.  If at least we here at ZH cannot become a little more exact with our passions, how in hell can we expect the world not to end in annihilation.   sheesh!

macholatte's picture

What do you think would happen if they both had nukes?

Long USA Shale, Venezuela & ???


Bra ha ha


Behaving morally because of a hope of reward or a fear of punishment is not morality. Morality is not bribery or threats. Religion is bribery and threats. Humans have morality. We don't need religion.

Penn Jillette


Motasaurus's picture

SUUUUPER-Long Australian oil. 

Larger deposits than the entire middle east, entirely untapped. Australia is London's strategic reserve. 

Crisismode's picture

You are utterly delusional.


And what is th EROI on this mythological oil?

In other words, how much energy per barrel does it take to pump each barrel of oil?


deflator's picture

 He doesn't know or care...

Taint Boil's picture

1.1 barrels of oil to extract 1.0 ………

Element's picture



Wrong. Despite the oil formations you mean, the country has massive coal deposits that can be converted to light hydrocarbons just as Germany did during almost all of WWII. It also has massive nat-gas deposits and brand new infrastructure for export delivery of that gas.

Oil and gas in massive abundance.

And yes, extractable at levels that exceed the middle east, all that is required is demand and a sustained high enough price, or an emergency incentive to do it.

Zero Point's picture

I've read this conspiracy theory before, and seen no evidence for it whatsoever.

farmerunder's picture

any source for that statement? why the heck did we agree to Singapore parity

knukles's picture

They both already DO have nukes.  SA has already purchased them from Pakistan, Iran via Russia.
Anybody really think they're participating in a nuclear free zone?  Seriously?

Keyser's picture

You left out the wild card, the Yids, and we know whose side they are on... 

Bay Area Guy's picture

They're on their own side, the rest of the world be damned.

Zero Point's picture

Theirs. Goyim are just cattle.

Nexus789's picture

Would not put it past the Israelis to have given Saudi some nukes. They have got belligerent recently which does not match their fighting capability which verges on useless.

Karlus's picture

No love between Israel and Saudis. I would highly doubt that transaction you posit exists

Benjamin123's picture

No one gives anyone any nukes.

Besides, like all institutional arab armies the saudi military is nothing but a social club for sons of the elite looking good in their officer uniforms and a labor camp for the camel jockeys they use to haul ammunition boxes to the firing range.

**Does not apply to guerrillas, only to the official armies.

Oilwatcher's picture

Fair point, but most true believing Christians strive to behave morally not from fear of punishment or promise of reward but because they love God, believe we are made in his image, and want to honor and please Him.  Not trying to convince anyone God exists, but atheists like Penn Jillette (whom I like by the way) trying to analyze and critique religion is like someone who speaks only German explaining the grammar of Mandarin based on reading a Wikipedia article on the subject.

sonoftx's picture

Humans have morality. Now that is funny. Looked at history lately, or maybe just looked around, or read about recent arrests, or seen what families do to each other when someone dies. Oh yes, I surely do believe in the all powerful morality of man. Man is so righteous.

Midas's picture

Penn Jillette makes a living out of misdirection.

Escrava Isaura's picture



Oh my god! Adel looks old compared to when we used to hang around Cafe Milano in DC in the late 90’s early 2000's.



DownWithYogaPants's picture

Warning! Retard alert!  Escrava opened mouth

Squid-puppets a-go-go's picture

'About time they got back to the business of killing each other'

classic example of western exceptionalism maintaining its narrative of civilized superiority in order to justify covert divide and conquer for the mass appropriation of other nations resources


The Saint's picture

"Riyadh also claims Iran did not attempt to stop protesters from storming the consulate."


Duh.  It's the Iranian government that organizes these protests.

skepsis101's picture

Huh?  What hole did you crawl out of 27 days ago?