Mecca Stampede: Behind Iran’s Reaction

by Henry Johnson The stampede in Mecca has opened the door to criticism of the Saudi monarchy and its management of a religious holiday that brings some two million Muslims to the holy city each year. Unsurprisingly, the loudest critiques… Continue Reading  

Assault Amplifies Iranian Anger at Saudi Arabia

by LobeLog’s Tehran correspondent In April, the unofficial media in Iran published unconfirmed reports of the sexual assault of two young Iranian men in the Jeddah airport in Saudi Arabia. By April 6, the Iranian Foreign Ministry had confirmed the… Continue Reading  

Azerbaijan’s President Goes to Mecca

by Giorgi Lomsadze Yes, you read that right. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on April 7 swapped his usual suit-and-tie look for the white robes of a Muslim pilgrim to Mecca. His wife, Mehriban Aliyeva, and daughters Leyla and Arzu, the country’s… Continue Reading