Saudi Arabia has been one of the bastions of stability since the so called Arab Spring began. the country saw some minor proptests in the eastern regions where the majority of the population is shia.
The Shias complain about discrimination and lower standards of living than the Sunni majority who have ruled the country for close to 100 years.
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The minor protesters were quickly put out with brutal force. However, as Iran becomes increasingly wreckless in their foreign policy they have been attempting to stir up trouble among the shias.
Today news just broke of a pipeline being blown up. Bloomberg is reporting that “an explosion has hit oil pipelines in the flashpoint Saudi Arabian city of Awwamiya in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern province.” The news has not been verified nor confirmed by Saudi officials. The report sent crude oil above $110 a barrel. Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest reserves of oil according to everyone besides Hugo Chavez.
It should be noted that Awwamiya was a cite of earlier protests put down by Saudi security forces. In April 2011, the city saw open protests among the shia population.
If Iran is behind this explosion, which we strongly believe is the case, expect this just to be the beginning. As Iran has come closer to nuclear capacity and is increasingly isolated internationally, we expect that this is just the beginning.