Iran: Saudi Cutting Ties Won’t Distract from Mistake of Sheiklh Nimr Execution
Saudi Arabia severed its diplomatic relations with Iran one day after the government and people of Iran protested to execution of dissident cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir made the announcement at a news conference in Riyadh, and said Iranian diplomats had 48 hours to leave the kingdom, AFP news agency reported.
Saudi Arabia “is breaking off diplomatic ties with Iran and requests that all members of the Iranian diplomatic mission leave… within 48 hours,” said Jubeir whose country is entangled with its prolonged aggression on neighboring Yemen and futile support to the extremist terrorists in Syria and Iraq.
“Iran’s history is full of negative interference and hostility in Arab issues, and it is always accompanied by destruction,” he said, accusing Tehran of seeking to “destabilize” the region.
Jubeir’s announcement follows world-wide protests including angry rallies before Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate general in Mashhad in the wake of the execution of the prominent critic of the autocratic regime in Riyadh.
Saudi authorities announced on Saturday it had executed Sheikh Nimr along with 46 others.
Sheikh Nimr was a vocal supporter of the mass pro-democracy protests against Riyadh, which erupted in Eastern Province in 2011, where a Shia majority has long complained of marginalization.
For its part, Tehran fired back at Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut ties with Iran, saying the move would not distract from its “big mistake” of executing Sheikh Nimr.
Iranian Deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said: “By deciding to sever (diplomatic) relations, Saudi Arabia cannot make (the world) forget its big mistake of executing a cleric,” according to IRNA.
Earlier, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, condemned Nimr’s execution, saying “God will not forgive” Saudi Arabia for putting him to death.
“The unjustly spilt blood of this martyr will have quick consequences,” he said, adding: “It will haunt the politicians of this regime.”