The reasons behind the confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran lie much deeper than the execution of preacher Nimr al-Nimr, senior security expert at the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of World Economy and International Relations Vladimir Sotnikov told RIA Novosti.
Sotnikov said that Bahrain and Sudan "followed their boss" when it came to reducing diplomatic ties with Iran.
"The reasons are rooted much deeper, in this regional confrontation, which already has a global subtext between Saudi Arabia and Iran. These are the strongest two competing powers in the Middle East. This became completely obvious in their relations and action in the Syrian and Yemen crises," Sotnikov said.
According to Sotnikov, there is a possibility that the two countries could collide in a "hot war" in Syria. He added, that the moves made by Gulf monarchies appear to be leading to a boycott of Iran.
"Thе countries which formally joined the third anti-ISIL coalition under Saudi Arabia's leadership, it appears, will either follow [Saudi Arabia's] example, or reduce their diplomatic staff to a minimum," Sotnikov said.
Sotnikov also said that he doubts that the conflict would last a very long time.