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Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan expel Iranian ambassadors, Cut all ties with Shia nation
Tuesday January 5, 2016 12:44 PM, Agencies

[Saudi mission in Iran was set on fire by protsetors on Saturday following the report of execution of Nimr al-Nimr - aShia cleric convicted of terrorism..]

Riyadh/Manama/Khartoum: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan expelled Iranian ambassadors on Monday and severed diplomatic ties with Iran, after the Saudi embassy in the Shia dominated country was ransacked following the execution of Nimr a-Nimr, a Shia cleric convicted of terrorism.

The thrre countries asked all Iranian diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours, the media reported.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said he has informed the UN Security Council of the attack on the Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran late Saturday, and added that the Saudi diplomats from the mission had safely reached Dubai, the UAE, Xinhua reported.

He accused the Iranian authorities of not taking any measures to prevent the attacks against the embassy in Tehran and the consulate in the city of Mashhad.

Late Saturday,Shia Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi diplomatic mission to protest the Saudi execution of 47 individuals on terrorism charges, including a Saudi Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

Most of the executed were Saudis who were involved in a series of attacks carried out by Al Qaeda from 2003-06. Nimr was seen as a driving force behind anti-government protests that broke out in the country in 2011.

The attacks violated international agreements, al-Jubeir said, who also cited the Iranians' previous attacks on the US and British embassies.

He accused Iran of providing protection for Al-Qaeda through weapon trafficking.

Bahrain on Monday announced that it was severing diplomatic ties with Iran and asked the Iranian diplomats to leave the kingdom within 48 hours, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Bahrain has decided to end diplomatic relations with Iran because of its continuous interference in the affairs of the kingdom, and also of the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council)," state-run Bahrain News Agency quoted an official statement as saying.

Sudan on Monday expelled the Iranian ambassador, hours after Saudi Arabia and Bahrain cut ties with Tehran following attack on Saudi mission in Iran.

The Saudi side was informed of the decision in a phone call from Sudan's Minister of State and Director of the President's Office Taha Osman al-Hussein with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sudan also decided to expel the whole Iranian diplomatic mission and withdraw its envoy from Tehran.

In the call, the Sudanese official stressed his country's condemnation of the Iranian interference in the Arab region and inaction to protect the Saudi Embassy and Consulate in Iran.

For his part, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani used the word "inhuman" to strongly denounce the Saudi execution.

He also urged relevant Iranian departments to prosecute those "extremist individuals" who attacked the embassy and the Saudi consulate in the city of Mashhad.

In the Middle East, tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have lasted for decades. The Saudi Shia cleric's execution further intensified the rivalry.

Washington said that in order to ease tension, it hoped regional leaders could deepen diplomatic ties and take "affirmative steps."

"We believe that diplomatic engagement and direct conversations remain essential in working through differences and we will continue to urge leaders across the region to take affirmative steps to calm tensions," said an official of US President Barack Obama's administration.

On Sunday, France showed its grief over the mass execution and restated that France would stand against death penalty "in all places and circumstances."



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