Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian stressed that the decision by Riyadh to cut its diplomatic ties with Tehran will not help the Saudi regime cover up its “strategic mistake” of executing prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr.
Diplomats from Saudi Arabia quit Iran after the kingdom’s foreign ministry announced it was cutting diplomatic ties with the Islamic Republic following angry protests in Iran at the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Riyadh.
“Saudi Arabia cannot cover up its grave mistake of executing the prominent religious figure by its decision to cut relations with Iran,” Amir Abdollahian said in reaction to the Saudi move in a televised interview with IRIB on Sunday.
“Saudi diplomats in Tehran and Mashhad have not been harmed at all,” Amir Abdollahian noted in reference to recent protest rallies in the two Iranian cities where outraged people stormed the Arab country’s embassy in reaction to Riyadh’s execution of Sheikh Nimr.
The Iranian deputy foreign minister stressed that “Iran is one of the safest countries in the region and all diplomats are doing their jobs in full security.”
He further noted that Riyadh has already exacerbated the insecurities in the Middle East and caused the expansion of terrorism and extremism through its previous strategic mistakes and by adopting hasty and reckless approaches.
The execution of Ayatollah Sheikh Nimr is now the newest strategic mistake by the Saudi rulers, Amir Abdollahian added, stresing that the prominent religious figure belonged to the entire Muslim world and not just to a particular country.
Saudi Arabia on Saturday executed 47 prisoners, including Sheikh Nimr.
The executions took place in 12 cities in Saudi Arabia, four prisons using firing squads and the others beheading. The bodies were then hanged from gibbets in the most severe form of punishment available in the kingdom’s law.
Sheikh Nimr was detained in July 2012 on trumped-up charges of delivering anti-regime speeches and defending political prisoners.