Friday, 22 September, 2017

Saudi’s cut of diplomatic ties ‘a big mistake’ says Iran

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Speaking a day after Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Tehran, Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahain on Monday said the decision was a “big mistake.”

He added that Riyadh ordered Iran’s embassy staff to leave the country to cover up domestic problems, in comments broadcast on Iranian state TV.

His remarks come following the Saudi Arabia’s decision to execute prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Hossein Jaberi Ansari also accused Saudi Arabia of using an attack on its embassy in Tehran to deliberately stoke “tensions” in the region.

“Iran… is committed to provide diplomatic security based on international conventions. But Saudi Arabia, which thrives on tensions, has used this incident as an excuse to fuel the tensions,” Jaberi Ansari said in televised remarks.

Iranian protesters had stormed the Saudi embassy in the early hours of Sunday after Saudi Arabia executed a Shia cleric, prompting Riyadh to withdraw its diplomatic staff and order Iranian diplomats to leave the kingdom.

Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir announced Sunday that Saudi Arabia was severing diplomatic ties with Iran after demonstrators stormed its Tehran embassy to protest against Riyadh’s execution of a Shia cleric.

Jubeir also said that all Iranian diplomats must leave Saudi Arabia within 48 hours.

Sheikh Al Nimr, 56, was a driving force behind anti-government protests in Saudi during the Arab Spring of 2011 and Riyadh has insisted that the death penalties were part of a justified war on terrorism.

He was put to death along with 46 other prisoners, sparking widespread demonstrations and criticism.

Oil surges on Saudi-Iran tensions

Oil prices jumped in early trading of its first session in the new year as relations between major crude producers Saudi Arabia and Iran deteriorated, although tumbling Asian manufacturing and stock data kept a lid on bullish expectations.

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