Saudis are becoming increasingly disillusioned and angry with their government's domestic and economic policies, and the government's foreign policies are slowly becoming less popular as well. Now, after his execution, Nimr is emerging as an icon to the Shiite Arab community. And the fate of Arab governments who have executed Shiite religious leaders is haunting. Nearly all of them have collapsed.
The current fight will play out not in Saudi Arabia or Iran, but in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. Diplomatic breakthrough to these conflicts depends on the willingness of Saudi Arabia and Iran to pressure their proxies to make peace. The current enmity will make that nearly impossible for the foreseeable future.
The Iran nuclear talks are causing ripples in the Middle East and it is not in Israel where the level of concern and suspicion is at its height. Rather, it is in Saudi-Arabia, and it is being so disturbing that the usually secretive kingdom is going out of its way to display its intensifying displeasure with the Obama administration.