Saudi’s ‘Shia Problem’ Poses Impossible Dilemma

CAIRO, EGYPT—In recent years, as hopeful Arab Spring uprisings have descended into wars or chaos, protests in Saudi Arabia by the Shia minority have continued under the radar, with deaths and injuries deepening sectarian divides.

Recent Islamic State attacks now threaten to raise sectarian tensions in the world’s biggest oil producer, which is already at risk as the Sunni Saudi government continues to bomb the Shia Houthis in Yemen, according to Dubai-based geopolitical analyst Theodore Karasik.

“At the moment the status of Sunni-Shia relations in Saudi Arabia are a bit tense,” he said. “The Saudis are doing their best to keep a lid on this sectarian dimension.”