Tehran responds to execution of Shiite Cleric
Saudi Arabia executed Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr along with 47 other prisoners on Saturday leading to strong condemnation from several Middle East countries including Iran. Saudi Arabia insisted the executions were part of a justified war on terrorism. Along with the cleric, Saudi Arabia executed several Al-Qaeda detainees convicted of launching a spate of attacks against foreigners and security forces a decade ago.
“We are particularly concerned that the execution of prominent Shia cleric and political activist Nimr al-Nimr risks exacerbating sectarian tensions at a time when they urgently need to be reduced.” – U.S. State Dept.
A large crowd gathered outside the Saudi embassy upset over the execution and chanted anti-Saudi slogans, some were spotted throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, according to police official, General Hossein Sajedinia. Some of the protesters broke into the embassy and threw papers off the roof, and police worked to disperse the crowd, Sajedinia told the semi-official ISNA news agency. He later told Tasnim that police had removed the protesters from the building and arrested some of them. He said the situation outside the embassy “had been defused.”
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