World View: Saudi Arabia Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Iran as Violent Shia Protests Spread

The Associated Press
Mohammadreza Nadimi/ISNA via AP

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Violent Anti-Saudi Shia protests spread around region after al-Nimr execution
  • Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Iran

Violent Anti-Saudi Shia protests spread around region after al-Nimr execution

Anti-Saudi protest in Islamabad Pakistan on Sunday (AFP)
Anti-Saudi protest in Islamabad Pakistan on Sunday (AFP)

Shia Muslims continued protests in Iran and eastern Saudi Arabia on Sunday. In Bahrain, Shia protesters had violent clashes with police. The protests spread as far as Pakistan, where Shia groups held protests in Quetta, Lahore and Karachi. The Shia community in Indian-administered Kashmir also staged outraged protests, which were violent at times.

The Shia world is shocked that Saudi Arabia executed Mohammad Baqir Nimr al-Nimr at all, that they executed him suddenly at this time, and that they executed him in a mass execution in the company of 46 alleged Sunni terrorists, as we reported yesterday.

Iran’s media has been demanding that Iran take revenge. Iran’s Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei said that al-Nimr “neither invited people to take up arms nor hatched covert plots. The only thing he did was public criticism.” In addition, he tweeted:

Doubtlessly, unfairly-spilled blood of oppressed martyr #SheikhNimr will affect rapidly & Divine revenge will seize Saudi politicians.

Shia Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that the execution of al-Nimr underlines Al Saud’s terrorist arrogance and insistence on murdering all who speak out truth and right. He said:

Sheikh al-Nimr’s blood will plague Al Saud till the Day of Resurrection. […]

The corrupted Saudi court, where the defense lawyer cannot argue with the judge, failed to prove that Sheikh Nimr held weaponry since he was peaceful as all the clerics in the Eastern Province in Saudi and in Bahrain. […]

Is not it high time to say courageously and regardless of all scores that the principle and spirit of the takfiri thought which destroys, murders, commits massacres and threatens the whole world is produced by Al Saud? Is not it high time to speak out right before the tyrant which is destroying Islam and the Islamic Umma?

Express Tribune (Pakistan) and Al Manar (Lebanon)

Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Iran

The Saudis late Sunday announced that they were cutting diplomatic ties with Iran, and requiring all Iranian diplomats in Saudi Arabia to withdraw within 48 hours. This was in reaction to partially violent protests continuing outside of Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran and outside of the Saudi consulate in the city of Mashhad in northwestern Iran. This was a day after protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and set fire to it.

The Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Araboa will no longer deal with a country that sponsors terrorism and sectarianism. He delivered the following speech:

After having been briefed on the details of the hostilities which the Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran sustained, I would like to further inform you that the Iranian regime has a long record of violations of foreign diplomatic missions. I, herewith, cite the occupation of the U.S. embassy in 1979, the attack against the British embassy in 2011 and yesterday’s offense against the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and consulate general in Mash-had.

Such continual assault on diplomatic missions constitutes a flagrant violation of all international agreements, charters and treaties.

Also, these attacks come after aggressive statements issued by Iranian prominent figures, a blatant provocation that encouraged others to attack the Kingdom’s missions.

These offenses are considered a continuation of the Iranian hostile policy in the region aiming at destabilizing the region’s security and stability and spreading sedition and wars.

This matter is certain as the Iranian regime provides safe havens on its territories for Al-Qaeda leaders since 2001.

The Iranian regime has also provided protection for a number of the involved in Al-Khober Towers explosion in 1996.

In addition to these hostile attacks, the Iranian regime has managed to smuggle weapons and explosives, plant terrorist cells in the region, including the Kingdom, aiming to spread chaos and unrest.

The history of Iran is full of negative and hostile interference in Arab countries affairs, always accompanied with subversion, demolition and killing of innocent souls.

Upon these realities, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announces cutting its diplomatic ties with Iran and demands all the members of Iran’s diplomatic mission (embassy, consulate and other offices affiliated to them) to leave within 48 hours.

The Iranian ambassador to the Kingdom was summoned to notify him of this development.

The ministry accused Iran of “blind sectarianism” and said Iran’s reaction only shows that it is a “partner in their crimes in the entire region.” Saudi Press Agency and Arab News (Riyadh) and CNN

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Pakistan, Iran, Mohammad Baqir Nimr al-Nimr, Seyed Ali Khamenei, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.