'Saudi King overthrow imminent'

(January 31, 2013, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) Saudi Arabia's monarchy has been holding strong for nearly three centuries. But according to former aide to the White House Bruce Riedel, recent geopolitical changes are leaving the royal family vulnerable.

Riedel is a senior foreign policy fellow at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He says that vast amounts of money have been able to keep violent waves of protest and demonstrations that could overthrow the monarchy at bay. Other protests like those that swept the Arab World have prompted the toppling of entrenched leadership.

Riedel questions the sustainability of the Saudi monarchy's methods which he says if they were overturned would not only affect surrounding Persian Gulf states but also the US.

Saudi Arabia is one of the US' oldest allies in the Middle East. For nearly two years, protesters in Saudi Arabia have held demonstrations almost regularly. Those leading an opposition movement there accuse leadership of suppressing freedom of expression and discrimination.

The demonstrations have occurred mostly in Qatif and Awamiyah in Eastern Province.

In 2011, Saudi security forces killed five protesters and injured many others in the province.

Reidel suggests that Barack Obama would be better advised to urge King Abdullah to move more rapidly on a reform agenda.

Riedel says that revolution in the Middle East could occur faster than any of us previously thought. If that happens he says, the ripple effect stemming from the uprisings would cross geopolitical borders to create a worldwide dilemma.

Source: Press TV, Iran

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