Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran was stormed early on Sunday when protesters broke into the building, smashed furniture and lit fires inside before being cleared by police.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, criticizing Saudi Arabia for the second straight day over al-Nimr’s execution, said politicians in the kingdom would face divine retribution for his death.
All but four of the condemned were convicted as Al-Qaeda members, while Nimr and three other Shias were accused of inciting riots among Saudi Arabia’s Shia minority between 2010 and 2012, when Nimr was arrested. Iran is majority-Shiite Muslim, while Saudi Arabia is majority Sunni.
“Both foreign ministers gave the assurance that no one can have an interest in a further escalation”, the spokesman said, adding that Kurz had spoken to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir and had called for de-escalation and dialogue between the two countries.
“The only thing he did was public criticism”, Khamenei said.
There was also sectarian anger in eastern parts of Saudi, with hundreds of Shia Muslims marching through the streets and demonstrations spread to other countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, India and Lebanon.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, while condemning Saudi Arabia’s execution of al-Nimr, also branded those who attacked the Saudi Embassy as “extremists”.
In response, Saudi Arabia s foreign ministry said it had summoned Iran s envoy to protest at the “aggressive Iranian statements on the legal sentences carried out today”.
While Tehran lashed out at Riyadh for Nimr’s execution, the Gulf states, the Arab League, and the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars all condemned the attacks and Iranian interference in the region. “We also came to the conclusion that he was jailed exclusively for expressing his peaceful points of view, protesting peacefully against the regimes”.
In Tehran, the crowd gathered outside the Saudi Embassy early Sunday and chanted anti-Saudi slogans.
The Guard says in a statement Sunday that Saudi Arabia’s “medieval act of savagery” in putting Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr to death will lead to the “downfall” of the monarchy.
The executions are the largest mass-killings in Saudi Arabia since 1980, when 63 jihadist rebels who seized Mecca’s Grand Mosque in 1979 were executed.
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