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Saudis executed Nimr to protect own illegitimate rule: Analyst

3 January 2016 9:06


Press TV has interviewed Sheikh Hamza Sodagar, a scholar of Islamic Studies from Tehran, and Daniel Serwer, a professor at the John Hopkins University from Washington, on the Al Saud regime’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Sodagar said the Saudi regime did not have jurisdiction to execute Sheikh Nimr as the kingdom’s judiciary had failed to bring real charges against the Shia leader.

The analyst highlighted Sheikh Nimr’s peaceful approach in pursuing his pro-democracy demands, adding that the senior Shia figure never carried weapons and did not threaten anyone in Saudi Arabia.

The prominent cleric only “called for human rights and reforms” in the kingdom, said the analyst, adding that the despotic regime of Al Saud beheaded a scholar, who was seeking peaceful reforms, in an attempt to protect its “illegitimate” rule.

Sodagar also expressed surprise that Riyadh killed Sheikh Nimr at a time when it is under much pressure due the aftermath of its crimes in the region, saying the monarchy did not need “any more heat” right now.

He said Saudi Arabia is already suffering from a decline in global oil prices, while public opinion pressure is piling on the Riyadh regime over its support for Takfiri terrorists in Iraq and Syria as well as its deadly military campaign against neighboring Yemen.

The Saudis “are running out of choices and the circumstances are not looking too good, so the one who is drowning will try to grab a hold of whatever they can to try to save themselves,” he noted.

Serwer, for his part, censures the execution as “clearly unjustified” and “outrageous” because the “religious leader was on the non-violent side of political equation” in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi kingdom feels “threatened” by the reforms demanded by Sheikh Nimr and his supporters, said the commentator, adding that the execution is a sign of the regime’s weakness.

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