Saudi + Bahrain: Decaying dictatorship shored-up by Gulf Union?

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In Iran, protests backed by the state have been organised against plans to form a European Union-style bloc amongst the Gulf states. Two key American allies, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain would be the first Arab Gulf nations to sign an agreement. Iran has called the idea a U.S.-backed plot to see Bahrain become part of Saudi Arabia. Bahrain has seen anti-government protests for more than a year, with fears now the potential union could strengthen the position of the Sunni rulers over a largely Shia population. Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi, from the University of Tehran, says it's the Saudi royal family, together with Washington that will benefit.

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