The Saudi government on Thursday released what it claims is “evidence” that Nimer al-Nimr, a Shi’ite cleric whose execution on charges of terrorism last week has sent shockwaves around the Islamic world, was “guilty.”
Nimer’s killing by the hardline Sunni regime was fiercely criticized by Iran and led to a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
In the video published today in Saudi media outlets, Nimr is seen standing next to four Saudi Shi’ites suspected of terrorism. Two of them have been killed by Saudi security forces while the other have been jailed for sedition, attempt to stage an Iranian-like Shi’ite revolution, and assisting the Shi’ite underground in Bahrein.
Also in the video, Nimr is seen with Fadel Safwani, one of the 23 high-profile terrorists the regime declared as wanted for affiliation with al-Qaeda and Shi’ite militias.
Meanwhile, the Saudi media quoted Arab leaders taking the kingdom’s side in the conflict with Iran.
The Asharq al Awsat newspaper quoted the Jordanian and Palestinian ambassadors to Saudi Arabia, who both expressed their countries’ full support for Riyadh.
They claimed that Iran never supported Muslims around the world, and never championed the Palestinian cause in earnest, but rather exploited to raise its credentials among Arab countries.
Also, the Saudi newspaper Elwatan reported on Thursday that Iran planned to “plant” pro-Iranian journalists in Arab networks. The paper quoted Iran expert Ayed Alshamri as saying that Iran invited Arab journalists on a luxurious press junket to Tehran, in a bid to sway their position in its favor.