Tuesday, 14 January, 2020

Iran’s president says Saudis cannot cover ‘crime’ by cutting ties

Iranian president says Saudi Arabia “cannot cover its crime” in executing a Shiite cleric by severing ties with Iran, AP reported.

President Hassan Rouhani made the comments in a statement posted to his website Tuesday, referring to the kingdom’s execution of leading Shiite cleric and opposition figure Sheikh Nimr-al Nimr.

Rouhani says that the “Saudi government has taken a strange action and cut off its diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to cover its crimes.”

He adds that, “undoubtedly, such actions can’t cover up that big crime.”

The statement said Rouhani made that comment to visiting Danish Foreign Minister Kristian Jensen.

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.

Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahain reacted to the issue on Monday, saying the decision was a “big mistake.”

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.

A prominent Iranian lawmaker said on Monday that Saudi Arabia’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Tehran likely will force Iran to stop sending pilgrims to the annual hajj.

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