Saudi Arabia's national flag is seen at the Khoba frontline border with Yemen, January 27, 2010.
Fahad Shadeed / Reuters

There might appear to be no connection between the shipment of 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium out of Iran on December 28, 2015, which was part of the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and six global powers, and the decision by Saudi Arabia a week later to sever diplomatic ties with Iran. But there is. 

Days after the shipment, Saudi Arabia beheaded Ayatollah Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. Charged with sedition, he was a prominent dissident and leader of the country's Shiites, who constitute 15 to 20 percent of the population. When a hysterical mob, likely supported by some elements within Iran's ruling elites, torched an annex

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