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Iran’s Top Commander: Saudi Arabia’s Presence in Syria Talks Illegitimate

30 October 2015 12:21



Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Hassan Firouzabadi blasted Saudi Arabia for massacring the Yemeni nation and supporting the terrorists in Syria, and stressed that the Riyadh government with such a dark record should not be allowed to take part in the Vienna talks on Syria.

“The Saudi regime with its all-out support for the ISIL and its terrorist acts in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon as well as numerous crimes, including its attacks on hospitals, schools and people’s homes, is a war criminal and its presence in the Vienna multilateral talks is, thus, suspicious and illegitimate,” General Firiouzabadi said on Thursday.

He, meantime, warned the Saudi regime against execution of senior Shiite Cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqer al-Nimr, and said, “Harsh repercussion will be waiting for the Saudi rulers” if they take such an unwise move.

Top diplomats from Iran, Russia, the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey will convene in Vienna on Friday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Nimr was attacked and arrested in the Qatif region of Eastern Province in July 2012, and has been charged with undermining the kingdom’s security, making anti-government speeches, and defending political prisoners. Nimr has denied the accusations.

In October 2014, a Saudi court sentenced Sheikh Nimr to death, provoking huge condemnations and criticism in the Middle East and the world.

On October 25, Nimr’s family confirmed that the Saudi Supreme Court and the Specialized Appeals Court had endorsed a death sentence issued last year against him for inciting sectarian strife and disobeying King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The cleric has denied the charges.

The Shiite cleric’s lawyer, Sadeq al-Jubran, has also said that Nimr could be executed as soon as the Saudi monarch approves his sentence.

Human rights organizations have condemned Saudi Arabia for failing to address the rights situation in the kingdom. They say Saudi Arabia has persistently implemented repressive policies that stifle freedom of expression, association and assembly.

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