Iran State Media: Israel, U.S. to Blame for Saudi Execution of Shiite Cleric

Dar Yasin/AP Photo
Dar Yasin/AP Photo

Iranian state-controlled Tasnim News Agency published an exclusive story on Monday blaming Israel and America for the recent execution of a prominent Saudi cleric.

Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr was executed by the Saudi government on New Years Eve. He, along with 46 others, were deemed enemies of the state. His execution caused a sectarian divide among the Sunni and Shiite communities. In Tehran on Saturday, rioters firebombed and ransacked the Saudi embassy and consulate in response to Nimr’s exectuion. In response to the rioting, and for the lack of protective measures for the Saudi diplomatic posts, multiple Sunni-led nations, including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Bahrain, cut off diplomatic ties with Iran.

Vanessa Beeley of the Syrian Solidarity Movement spoke with the state-controlled Tasnim News Agency, explaining how Israel and the United States were to blame for the current crises among Islamic sects.

“As with Sheikh Zakzaky in Nigeria, Sheikh Nimr campaigned against the Saudi Wahhabi distortion of Islam and engineered division of the Muslim world along sectarian lines that did not exist prior to the Saudi propaganda, inflamed and fuelled by the West intent on partitioning the region to best serve Israel’s security and Western economic and resource agendas,” Beeley told Tasnim.

“From the reaction of certain US Congress representatives such as Robert Ford to the hideous execution of Sheikh Nimr Bagher al-Nimr by the despotic Saudi regime, it is clear that the Sheikh’s execution is a reaction to the US NATO floundering regime change policies in Syria,” she added.

Showing support for the despotic regimes in Iran and Russia, she continued:

The US is determined to maintain perpetual sectarian conflict and anyone who dares to evoke unity and cohesion will not be tolerated. Will this bring more extremism to the region? Iran is more intelligent than this as is Russia. Both countries have been sorely provoked and both are showing huge restraint and wisdom, unlike their antagonists.

Beeley’s Syrian Solidarity Movement is an offshoot of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which describes itself as “a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.” The militant revolutionary organization was founded in the United States by leftist radicals and pro-Palestinian activists. The Israeli foreign ministry has warned that the group conducts activities “under the auspices of Palestinian terrorist organizations.”