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Iran’s FM Warns of Fallout of Sheikh Nimr Execution

4 January 2016 12:25


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif cautioned against the “dire consequences” of Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, urging concerted action against divisive and sectarian policies.

In separate telephone conversations with a number of international figures and diplomats, Foreign Minister Zarif condemned Saudi Arabia’s “inhumane” measure to execute Sheikh Nimr, saying the move runs counter to the international human rights norms.

The top Iranian diplomat spoke with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini, and a number of his counterparts from the regional countries.

Zarif branded the execution as another step in Saudi Arabia’s “divisive policies and support for the extremist terrorists” which have plagued the region and the world.

Warning that such moves could stimulate extremism, Zarif called for coordinated regional and international action to hamper crackdown against the religious groups and prevent the policies that are based upon sectarianism.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr, among dozens of others.

The execution has ignited widespread international condemnation, from both political and religious figures.

On Sunday, furious demonstrators in the Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad stormed Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic buildings in protest at the Al Saud’s execution of the popular cleric.

The incident has worsened strained ties between Tehran and Riyadh, with Saudi Arabia severing diplomatic relations with Iran on Monday and giving the Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the kingdom.

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