Tensions in the Middle East

Alex Castillo , Copy Editor

Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, Iran, setting it ablaze on Jan. 2 as a protest against the execution of pro-Shiite rights advocate, Nimr al-Nimr. The execution of al-Nimr raised tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, to the point where the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir, has given any Iranian diplomats and staff 48 hours to leave Saudi Arabia.


Nimr al-Nimr was a beloved government official, campaigning for free elections during the Arab Springs and for equal treatment of Shiite Muslims in the Middle East. The execution involved the government official, along with 47 other Shiite Muslims, by the Sunni Muslim led Saudi government.


USA Today reports the Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, as saying, “In no way is this justifiable and foremost disrespects Iran. Such ugly acts (must be) stopped, and full security of political missions assured.”


With the heavy involvement of the United States in the Middle East, the American people hold their own opinions about the attack on the Saudi Embassy. Young American Democrats yearn for the United States to finally pack their bags and get out of the Middle East.


AP U.S. History student, Brian Castro, 11, wonders about what could be done with the situation in the Arabian Peninsula.


“It’s tough, I think,” Castro said. “A lot of people want to see the United States out of the Middle East as soon as possible, but we have so many diplomatic ties with countries in the area that are from decades ago, where we can’t just get up and leave.”


The majority of citizens in Saudi Arabia and Iran are simply tired of the warfare and the danger of being out in the streets. They just want to put an end to the bloodshed and don’t want to see another issue arise from the riots in the Saudi Embassy.


Junior, Joseph Yousef, shows much concern for the issues in the Middle East.


“As someone who identifies as a Saudi Arabian, it’s really scary to hear about all these attacks over in my country,” Yousef said. “It also just makes me look bad and adds to the stereotype of all Arabians being violent.”


The Iranian military took the Embassy back from the protesters the following day on Jan. 3. Countries are dividing and takings sides. Iranian support comes from mostly Shiite countries while Saudi Arabia gathers support from Sunni nations like Kuwait. The American government wonders if this attack could be the last push to another major war.