President Obama's visit to Hiroshima this morning was a piece of history. He rose to the occasion in his remarks, speaking not only of the need to eliminate nuclear weapons but also questioning the institution of war itself, all with a clear focus on the devastating human consequences of armed conflict.
Saudi Arabia is using soccer and its influence in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to expand its campaign to isolate Iran, complicate Iran's return to the international fold in the wake of the nuclear agreement, strengthen Iranian hardliners in advance of next month's crucial elections in the Islamic republic, and deflect attention from mounting criticism of the kingdom's human rights record.
As Saudi Arabia is fighting a proxy war against Iran in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, it is determined not to allow Iran free regional reign. By creating the crisis, Saudi Arabia also hopes to disrupt the warming relations between Iran and the U.S., which it views as contrary to its interests. In addition, Saudi Arabia hopes to undermine the EU's drive for rapprochement with Iran, as it otherwise has the potential of becoming the largest trading partner with the EU.