Saudi Arabia is accused of supporting Sunni militias like Al Qaeda and ISIS. Iran is accused of supporting Shia militias like Hezbollah.
When ‘Arab Spring’ protesters initially demanded democracy and functioning economies in the region, the world had to make a decision – should we support the status quo (Iran and Saudi Arabia) or should we risk letting local populations rule themselves? When push came to shove in Bahrain and Syria, the world decided to let Saudi Arabia and Iran handle it, ignoring the fact that both regimes have been falling apart for years, leaders desperately clinging to power. Both regimes are like those ‘Walking Dead’ zombies that have been marinating in sewer water for years. They move around, they appear to be intact, but when you prop them up, you see that they’re entirely rotten on the inside, just mobile piles of rancid muck and gnashing teeth.
Prof Dodge's warning comes amid heightened concerns about the Middle East erupting into a wider Sunni-Shia civil war.
Last weekend, long-running tensions surfaced between the Shia mullahs of Iran and the Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia after Riyadh beheaded a Shia activist accused of sedition.
The two nations, which act as the Shia and Sunni regional powerhouses respectively, are both accused of backing militias forces on either side of Iraq's sectarian divide.