PHOTO: Iranian protesters outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran on Sunday (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia has cut diplomatic ties with Iran after its Embassy in Tehran was attacked, following the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr.

See Iran Daily, Jan 4: Saudis Cut Diplomatic Ties with Tehran

I joined Monocle 24’s The Globalist on Monday morning to assess the significance of the crisis in Saudi-Iranian relations, the internal dimensions, and the wider effects on the region.

In eight minutes, we covered the following:

1. Saudi Arabia’s execution of al-Nimr sent both a domestic message and one for the region: “We’re going to play tough, over Yemen and especially over Syria”.

2. “Sunni v. Shia Muslim” is a simplistic label for far more complex issues of power — within Saudi Arabia, in the Saudi-Iranian relationship, and in the Middle East.

3. “The Yemen situation will go from bad to worse”.

4. The Saudis are signalling that they will not give way to Iran — or Russia or the US — over the Syrian crisis.

5. The episode both draws from and will add to regime in-fighting in Iran.

Listen from 11:29 mark: