PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (Reuters)

I joined Monocle 24’s The Daily last night to assess the latest news in the diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Iran, following Riyadh’s breaking of diplomatic relations with Tehran last weekend.

Topics include the latest countries downgrading links with Iran; the reasons for the Saudi execution of 47 detainees, including the leading Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr; and the problems for Iran amid economic problems, regime in-fighting, and key elections in February.

Listen from 20:16:

See also Iran Audio Analysis: Why Saudi Arabia Cut Relations — and What It Means

Could the crisis worsen?

I think it’s too early to tell. It depends on the next steps. The Saudis have to consider how far they are willing to push this if the US and Europeans say, “We won’t accept this.”

I think the Iranians are in an even trickier position. They are in a severe economic crisis. They need sanctions to be lifted, and this could be jeopardized by the current row. And they are facing elections in less than two months which are threatening to rip the regime apart.