Saudi Arabia cuts diplomatic ties with Iran

Following execution of Sheikh Al-Nimr and 46 others in Saudi Arabia, massive protests all over Middle East; Saudi Embassy in Tehran set on fire

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Saudi Arabia has officially cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the Saudi Embassy in Iran was set on fire in protest of the execution of the Shiite Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with 46 others in Saudi Arabia.

The executed were convicted of “terror-related offences”, including the death of Saudi police in Shiite protests, the executions leading to massive protests through out the Middle East. Sheikh Nimr was a vocal critic of the Saudi royal family and a predominant Shiite leader.

Saudi Arabia ordered its diplomats to leave Iran within 48 hours, majority having already left the country in the past hours.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir stated that Saudi Arabia would not “allow Iran to undermine its security” and that “Iran’s history is full of negative interference and hostility in Arab issues, and it is always accompanied by destruction,” accusing Iran of “distributing weapons and planted terrorist cells in the region.” He stated that “The kingdom, in light of these realities, announces the cutting of diplomatic relations with Iran and requests the departure of delegates of diplomatic missions of the embassy and consulate and offices related to it within 48 hours. The ambassador has been summoned to notify them.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of “divine revenge” for the executions. Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah stated following the executions “We are today faced by an appalling event, a huge event that Al Saud took lightly … but this is an event that cannot be taken lightly… Al Saud wants Sunni-Shi’ite strife. They are the ones who ignited it before, and are doing so in every part of the world.”