Supreme Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed Imam Khamanei: “Divine Revenge” Awaits Saudis
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Ummah and Oppressed Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia will face “divine revenge” for executing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, whose martyrdom sparked protests in which the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran was firebombed.
Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks underlined the fury felt in Iran and other regional countries over the execution of Sheikh Nimr on Saturday, who spent more than two years in Saudi jail before getting murdered.
His eminence called the killing of Sheikh Nimr “a political mistake by the Saudi government” which would “haunt its politicians”. His comments came ahead of protests planned to start in Tehran at 3:00 pm (1200 GMT).
“The unjustly spilt blood of this martyr will have quick consequences,” Sayyed Khamenei told clerics in the Iranian capital. “God will not forgive.”
“This scholar [martyr Sheikh Nimr] neither encouraged people into armed action nor secretly conspired for plots, but the only thing he did was utter public criticism rising from his religious zeal,” he said of Nimr.
Lashing out at the silence of those who claim to be calling for freedom, democracy and human rights and their support for the Saudi regime that sheds innocent blood just because of criticism and protests, Grans Ayatollah said that the Islamic world and the whole world should feel responsible before this crime and similar Saudi crimes committed in Yemen and Bahrain.
The 56-year-old cleric was put to death along with 46 other activists. The executions prompted protests in at least one city in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province, as well as in Iraq and Bahrain.
In Tehran the Saudi embassy was ransacked after protesters threw petrol bombs and stormed the building. The kingdom’s consulate in Mashhad, Iran’s second biggest city, was also set on fire.
In Iraq, hundreds demonstrated in the holy Shiite city of Karbala and prominent lawmaker Khalaf Abdelsamad urged the closure of Riyadh’s newly-reopened embassy in Baghdad and the expulsion of its ambassador.
In Yemen, where the kingdom is leading a war, the religious scholars’ association controlled condemned the execution.
Executions have soared in Saudi Arabia since King Salman ascended the throne a year ago – 153 people put to death in 2015, nearly twice as many as in 2014.
Rights watchdogs have repeatedly raised concern about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, where criticizing the regime, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery and rape are all punishable by death.