Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that Saudi Arabia cannot evade its “big mistake” of executing a prominent Shia cleric by cutting diplomatic ties with Iran.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Saudi Arabia cannot evade its “big mistake” of executing a prominent Shia cleric by cutting diplomatic ties with Iran, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said.
Amir-Abdollahian said, as cited by Iran’s Press TV broadcaster late Sunday, that Riyadh “cannot cover” up its “big mistake” of executing Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by cutting ties with Tehran.
Al-Nimr was among 47 people convicted on terrorism charges whose execution Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday, setting off a diplomatic row and exacerbating sectarian strife.
“Iran is one of the safest countries in the region,” said Amir-Abdollahian, who was the first Iranian official to react to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir’s announcement that Riyadh would move to sever diplomatic relations with Tehran.
Saudi Arabia accused Iran of not intervening in the late Saturday attack on a Saudi embassy and consulate in the two most populous Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad.
Demonstrators have set the embassy building on fire and seized Saudi flags in both missions before authorities moved in to arrest some of the perpetrators.
Iranian diplomats were ordered to leave the country within 48 hours, while 47 of Saudi diplomatic mission staff have safely returned to their homeland with the help of the United Arab Emirates.