Sectarian Hostility on the Rise as Rift Between Saudi Arabia and Iran Deepens

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Sectarian tensions continue to flare in the Middle East following Saudi Arabia's execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and Iranian protesters' retaliatory attack on the Saudi embassy. The death of Sheikh Nimr, a vocal opponent of Saudi Arabia's Sunni monarchy, has given rise to pro-Shiite demonstrations across the region and spurred Kuwait to become the latest Sunni-led state to sever or downgrade ties with Iran. We discuss the origins of the Sunni-Shiite divide and the geopolitical impact of Islamic sectarianism.


Shadi Hamid, senior fellow, Brookings Institution; author of "Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the Middle East"

Lesley Hazleton, journalist; author of "After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam"