Saudi Arabia, the leading Sunni Muslim power in the Middle East, and Shiite power Iran have long competed for influence in the region.
“We are urging all sides to show some restraint and to not further inflame tensions that are on quite vivid display in the region“. It condemned “in the strongest terms” the attacks which saw protesters firebomb the Saudi embassy in Teheran and its consulate in Masshad.
The execution last week of Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr – one of 47 executions carried out by the Saudis on the same day – widened the already deep Shia-Sunni sectarian rift in the region.
While Bahrain has cut off diplomatic ties with Iran, the United Arab Emirates has “downgraded” relations with Tehran.
Earlier, in New York, Saudi UN ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi accused Iran of “interfering in the affairs of other countries, including our own”, and “taking provocative and negative positions”.
“Saudi Arabia can not cover its crime of having cut off the head of a cleric by cutting relations”, he said.
Saudi Arabia signaled on Tuesday its breach in relations with Iran would not affect talks on Syria, another round of which is scheduled in Geneva this month.
The Turkey-based Syrian National Coalition, a top Syrian opposition group, also declared its support for Riyadh and criticized what it said was Iran’s support for militias in Syria and Iraq. “But Saudi Arabia, which thrives on tensions, has used this incident as an excuse to fuel the tensions”, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman, said in televised remarks on Monday.
Iran’s U.N. mission sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday defending its actions to protect Saudi diplomatic sites and officials and pledged to continue to take necessary measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. In Syria, Iran has been backing the Shia regime of Bashar al-Assad, to the chagrin of Saudi Arabia which supports the rebels.
Mr. DuJarrick told reporters that the envoy stressed the need to ensure that the development did not cause a chain of adverse consequences in the region. Even before Nimr’s execution, relations were strained over the two nations’ backing opposing factions in those three countries.
The concerted campaign by Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia highlights the aggressive stance King Salman and his son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have adopted in confronting Iran, a longtime regional rival.
More in AmeriPublications
South Korea appeals to China to rein in North over nuclear tests
South Korea’s Defense Ministry couldn’t immediately confirm the report.January 21, 2016
Satellite SpaceX fail as rocket topples over while landing
According to a message on Twitter wrote by SpaceX founder Elon Musk, one of the rocket’s landing legs didn’t latch into...January 21, 2016
Ruble Falls to 82 Against US Dollar, 90 Against Euro
Russian Federation is running a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP this year, and the government is looking to cut...January 21, 2016
19 killed in university attack in Pakistan
He said the operation had ended and security forces were clearing the area, with most of the student victims shot dead...January 21, 2016
Moldova political crisis: Protesters break into parliament
Police arrested several protesters after they clashed with security forces and broke into the parliament building on Wednesday, according to local...January 21, 2016
Military step up search and recovery operation after Somalia raid
MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) – Somalia’s Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab claimed on Sunday to have killed 100 Kenyan soldiers serving under the...January 21, 2016
Sarah Palin: Speculation rife former Alaska governor set to endorse Donald Trump
“And that starts from the top”, she said. “You deserve the best!”January 21, 2016
Bombing close to Russian embassy in Kabul kills 7
At least seven people died on Wednesday when a suicide bomber targeted the Moby Group, a major media production company in...January 21, 2016
NYS Health Officials Advise MDs to Watch for Zika Virus
The move comes after United States health chiefs issued an alert on Friday advising pregnant women to avoid travelling to Brazil...January 21, 2016