It seems that the execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was among the prominent Shiite clerics of Saudi Arabia, will aggravate sectarian conflicts, especially in the Gulf and the entire region.
Sheikh al-Nimr was arrested in 2012 and sentenced to execution in 2014.
The execution of Nimr was approved by the high court of Saudi Arabia until the end of last October, but King Salman Bin Abdulaziz's approval was awaited to carry out execution.
Frankly, Ayatollah Nimr's execution was not expected, since he was a popular cleric among Shiites and it was thought that his execution could lead to strong tension.
This means the Saudi Arabian King is determined to face developments that may arise following Nimr's execution.
It is interesting that the execution of Sheikh Nimr was not carried out at the end of December 2015, after the formation of the Saudi Arabia-led 34-country "Islamic Alliance” to combat terrorism.
As it is known Iran, Iraq and Syria were excluded from this coalition.
The execution of Sheikh Nimr caused a strong reaction in countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arabic Emirates and Yemen in the Gulf region where a considerable number of Shiite communities live, as well as Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and India.
It seems that this development has taken tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia to the highest level. No one thinks this tension will be limited with Iran and Saudi Arabia.
It is highly probable that the showdown between the two countries will affect other Gulf regimes, especially Bahrain.
Moreover, before the executions in Saudi Arabia, 27 Sunni activists against the regime in Iran were sentenced to execution.
We can say that carrying out these executions could be perceived as a reprisal against Riyadh.
The execution of al-Nimr is not an ordinary incident. When it is considered that sectarian conflicts exist throughout the region, the situation is grave.
It is not easy at all to predict how this development will affect particularly the positions of the US and Russia in the region.
But it is highly probable that the region will face the fire that this issue will cause. Because of policies of regional powers contradicting each other conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen became gangrenous.
It is not possible to resolve regional issues by the sword rather than reconciliation and dialogues in the short term. In the long term, hostility and hatred between the Shiite and Sunni Muslims will be carried to the future. Leaving such a legacy for the next generations would be the biggest embarrassment recorded in the history of Islam.
Just a few days ago the “International Islamic Unity Conference” was held in Tehran and Shiite and Sunni scholars from the Islamic world came together.
Attending this meeting, the head of Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs Directorate (DİB), Professor Mehmet Görmez made an effective speech and remarked sectarian conflicts.
After Tehran, Görmez visited Saudi Arabia and met with his counterparts and called for sobriety, indicating that the Muslim world should eliminate sectarian bigotry, violence as well as the spiral of terror.
It should be noted that the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr made these calls for sobriety and dialogue ineffective.
Shortly speaking, if the parties abandon sobriety and add fuel to the flames, a great chaos awaits the region.
It is irrelevant to say that chaos will have no benefit for the Muslim world.