Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with Iran

Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with Iran
By Euronews with Reuters, AFP
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War of words escalates after cleric's execution

  • Riyadh breaks ties with Tehran
  • Follows the execution of outspoken Shia cleric
  • Saudi diplomats return home
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Saudi Arabia has severed diplomatic relations with Iran in the face of growing outrage among Shia Muslims over the execution of an outspoken cleric.

Just in: Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says the country has cut diplomatic ties with Iran https://t.co/h5Nl9TPJlL

— Bloomberg Business (@business) January 3, 2016

UAE Foreign Affairs Minister AnwarGargash</a> welcomes Saudi diplomats to Dubai after they were recalled from Iran. <a href="https://t.co/YQNdmuWXZa">pic.twitter.com/YQNdmuWXZa</a></p>&mdash; Rori Donaghy (roridonaghy) January 3, 2016

The war of words between the Middle East rivals has escalated over the last 24 hours, with the supreme leader of Iran warning that Saudi Arabia would face “divine vengeance” for the execution of outspoken Shia Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Foreign Minister: the Kingdom Cuts its Diplomatic Relations with Iran and Withdraws Employees of the Saudi Embassy and Consulate in #Iran .

— SPAENG (@Spa_Eng) January 3, 2016

The announcement came a day after Iranian protesters ransacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran in outrage over the execution.

#Iranians storm & set ablaze #Saudi embassy in #Tehran to protest Shiite cleric’s execution https://t.co/o8yroimYDfpic.twitter.com/GaLZbwqIr2

— Adam Milstein (@AdamMilstein) January 3, 2016

Saudi Arabia, which put the cleric to death in a mass execution of 47 men accused of terrorism-related offences, said Iran had “revealed its true face represented in support for terrorism.”

#Bahrain: A woman holds a portrait of Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a protest against his execution pic.twitter.com/azeCzAU2p9

— AFP Photo Department (@AFPphoto) January 3, 2016

The heated rhetoric underscored the mounting tensions between the two powers that each consider themselves leaders of the Islamic world and support opposing sides in conflicts across the region.

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