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Iran’s Rouhani criticizes Saudi Arabia for severing ties

Iran’s Rouhani criticizes Saudi Arabia for severing ties

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Date: 5 January 2016 15:07

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 5

By Khalid Kazimov – Trend:

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticized Saudi Arabia for severing ties with the Islamic Republic and beheading Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric.

“Saudi Arabia can’t cover up the crime of beheading a religious leader by cutting the diplomatic ties,” IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying at a meeting with Denmark’s Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen in Tehran Jan. 5.

Earlier on Jan. 2, Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al-Nimr on terrorism charges, followed by a strong protest from Iran, which said the execution was unjustified. Reacting to al-Nimr’s execution, angry Iranians stormed on Jan. 3 the Saudi embassy in Tehran, smashing furniture and setting fire to the building before being dispersed by police.

Following the protests, Saudi Arabia said it severed diplomatic ties with Iran and urged the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic mission and related entities to leave the country within 48 hours.

Rouhani, further saying that al-Nimr’s beheading is not a response to criticism, called on human rights activists and Europeans to condemn Saudi Arabia’s execution of the cleric.

Meanwhile, Sudan, Djibouti, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE have joined diplomatic action against Iran after the Saudi embassy in Tehran was stormed in aftermath of the Shia cleric’s execution.

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