Reacting to Saudi Arabia’s execution of an outspoken Shia cleric, Hezbollah says the regime is looking at “the abyss” and that indications point to its upcoming demise.
“When a regime loses its mind, that means it has reached the abyss,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of the Lebanese resistance movement, said on Sunday.
“The signs of the end of this corrupt criminal unjust Takfiri terrorist regime have begun to emerge,” he noted, saying, “The killing of our brothers, the spilling of our blood will not go just like that and they must be afraid, they must hide.”
Sheikh Nimr had been arrested in 2012 in the Qatif region of Saudi Arabia’s Shia-majority Eastern Province, which was the scene of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations at the time. He had been charged with instigating unrest and undermining the kingdom’s security. He had rejected the charges as baseless.
In 2014, a Saudi court sentenced the clergyman to death, provoking widespread global condemnations. Back then, the UK-based rights body Amnesty International called the sentence “appalling,” saying the verdict should be quashed since it was politically motivated.
Nasrallah, who was speaking during a televised address, said criticism is forbidden in Saudi Arabia, adding that the country is no place for any cleric of any sect casting the kingdom’s policies into question.
Elaborating on Riyadh’s way of treating criticism, the Hezbollah chief said, “He, who speaks out is executed. This is Saudi Arabia, which wants to spread democracy in the region.”
Nimr was put to death alongside 46 other people, whom the kingdom’s Interior Ministry said had been found guilty of involvement in “terrorism.”
“He was very courageous regarding what he said,” Nasrallah said, adding, “He was a reformist man” championing the rights of people in the Arabian Peninsula. “He spoke what is right.”
“This execution was very shocking,” the Hezbollah leader said. Through the execution, the kingdom sought to send the Islamic world “a message in blood with the swords, with beheadings,” and “he who criticizes us as Al Saud, his blood will be spilled,” Nasrallah said.
He added that Saudi Arabia cannot accept it either when there are people in Yemen “who object and speak the truth.” Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March. More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the beginning of the Saudi aggression.
He also blasted Riyadh for its way of promoting divisions across the Muslim world, saying when there is difference between Sunnis and Shias “look for Saudi Arabia.”
“Has not the time come to say with courage to the whole world that the main source and the launching pad for Takfiri ideology…is from this regime, from this family,” Nasrallah noted, adding, “They are partners in all the blood which is spilled in the Arab and Islamic countries.”