The replacement of Saudi Arabia's longstanding oil minister is emblematic of the new developments around economic growth and political succession in the Kingdom. Former Aramco president, Khalid al-Falih, will now lead the newly expanded Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources. He replaces Saudi's veteran oil minister of more than 23 years, Ali al-Naimi.
Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran this week, warning that disruption of trade ties are set to follow. The catalyst for deteriorating conditions this time was the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, who was charged with terrorism-related crimes including sedition.
However, the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia is long-standing, with political, religious and economic roots.
Iran and Saudi Arabia are not natural enemies but they are natural rivals.
The US State Department has approved a sale of armed drones to Italy, the first such transaction to be allowed under a new policy. Previously only the UK was allowed to share this technology.
US service personnel train in loading munitions on an MQ-9
Drones are becoming big business and this sale seems to signal the start of an export strategy for unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
When King Salman bin Abdulaziz succeeded King Abdullah last month, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia edged one step closer towards a succession crisis.
US Secretary of State John Kerry with Omanu Sultan Qaboos bin Said, May 2013. (Flickr/US State Dept.)
There remain two more sons in the house of national founder, King Abdulaziz.