Saudi Arabia Severs Diplomatic Relations With Iran

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Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

3rd January, 2016


The Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Adel al-Jubayr, has announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Iran. “Saudi Arabia has decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran,” said Adel al-Jubayr on Sunday evening at a press conference. His words were reported by the news portal Al Arabiya. The Minister has also asked the Iranian diplomats to leave the territory within 48 hours.

“The attack on the Saudi Embassy and the Saudi Consulate is a flagrant violation of international conventions”, – sais the Minister. “We will not allow Iran to threaten our security and to support those who threaten stability in the region,” said Adel al-Jubayr.

Evacuation of Embassy staff in Riyadh from Iran

Saudi Arabia has evacuated Embassy staff from Iran after protesters attacked the Embassy of the Kingdom in Tehran. This was reported by Reuters. According to Ridyah, currently the plane with the Embassy staff has landed in Dubai, and from there they will be sent to Saudi Arabia. 

Supporting Al-Qaeda 

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After announcing the rupture of diplomatic relations with Iran, the foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel al-Jubayr blamed Tehran for many years of support of a terrorist network “al-Qaeda” (banned in Russia). This was reported by Iranian news Agency “Tasneem”.

“Iran has supported the terrorist network al Qaeda since 2011 and delivers weapons and explosives, and also provides refuge for terrorist groups”, – quotes the agency from the statement of the head of the Saudi foreign Ministry. In addition, “The Iranian government has a long history of treacherous attacks on diplomatic missions of foreign countries”, – quotes Agency “Tasneem” from the diplomat’s words.

Earlier, reminded al-Jubayr, Iran had already attacked the US Embassy and the UK (in 1979 and 2011, respectively, approx. ed-TASS). “The attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran is in flagrant violation of international conventions”, – said the head of the Saudi foreign Ministry, adding that the Kingdom will appeal in the UN Security Council in connection with the attack and damage diplomatic missions to Riyadh to Iran. 

The essence of the conflict

The trigger to the tensions was the announcement on the 2nd January by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Saudi Arabia about the execution of 47 people accused of terrorism. Among them were an-Nimr – one of the main promoters of the movement for equality and constitutional reform, against discrimination of the Shiite minority living in the East of the Kingdom. The preacher was arrested on 8 July 2012 on charges of inciting mass protests and riots. The court’s decision was rendered in October 2014.

The reaction of Tehran to their main regional enemy was immediate. “While the terrorists who support the Kingdom disturb the peace and security and pose a threat to people living in the region, the regime of Riyadh is implementing the execution of their political opponents, such as Sheikh an-Nimr,” – said the press Secretary of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Iran, Hossein Jaber Ansari.

According to him, “it testifies to the true purpose of the Saudi leadership and demonstrates the depth of his moral fall”. The Prime Minister of Iraq, Haidar al-Abadi, has stated that he had learnt of the news of the execution of an-Nimr with regret. In his opinion, this event will have an impact on the situation in the Middle East.

“The news of the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Saudi authorities, we accept with great regret”, the press service cites the words of the head of the Cabinet. “Expression of opinion and point of view that does not coincide with official viewpoint peacefully are the two main human rights, guaranteed by divine law and international law, and their violation will have consequences for stability, security and social life of the peoples of the region”, – said al-Abadi. Also in Tehran, on the night of Saturday to Sunday, a group of protesters against the execution of an-Nimr had infiltrated the Saudi Embassy and set fire to it. Police escorted the demonstrators outside the complex of diplomatic buildings without the use of force, 40 people were arrested.

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