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Iran-Saudi crisis deepens as diplomatic ties cut

Bahrain frequently accuses Iran of being behind protests among its Shia population.

The tiny island kingdom of Bahrain announced it would sever its ties completely from Iran, as Saudi Arabia did late on Sunday.

Kerry is also planning to make a round of calls Monday to the foreign ministers of all the Sunni-led states in the Persian Gulf region, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, officials said.

A mob on Saturday firebombed the Saudi embassy in the Iranian capital and a consulate in second city Meshhad, triggering regional and global condemnation.

Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies and Chair of the Centre for Iranian Studies at the London Middle East Institute, SOAS, University of London. Al-Nimr was accused of supporting “terror cells” that clashed with security forces, and of accusing Saudi leaders of blasphemy and calling for public uprising.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly stopping all flights to and from Iran – and banning its citizens from travelling there.

On the 11th of October, 2011, the Iranian government was accused of allegedly plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador, Adel al-Jubeir, in the United States. However, there are fears it could lead more violence.

“We ask… Tehran, Riyadh and other Gulf countries to show restraint”, the ministry said in a statement, as it called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to take “the path of dialogue”.

“We condemn attacks on diplomatic missions”.

Iran…is committed to provide diplomatic security based on global conventions”.

Washington is keen to avoid an escalation in tensions with Iran as it works to oversee implementation of that deal and also as it encourages Tehran to play a role in peace talks to end the Syria civil war.

In Baghdad on Monday, demonstrators carrying portraits of Nimr rallied outside the Green Zone, a heavily fortified district that houses government departments and diplomatic representations, including the newly reopened Saudi embassy.

Shi’ite communities around the world reacted furiously to the execution of Nimr, whom Earnest described as a political opposition figure and religious leader. This grouping could serve as a counterweight against the Sunni-Shiite bloc of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah, which has the backing of the USA and Russian Federation on one hand, and fights ISIS on the other.

“We will also be cutting off all air traffic to and from Iran“.

Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from NY, said diplomats at the United Nations have expressed worries over the escalating war of words.

“On the severing of diplomatic ties, we continue to believe that diplomatic engagement and direct conversations are essential to work through differences”, he added. “In terms of the relationship between Saudi and Iran, I think most people think that this is probably as bad as you can get”.

Surrounded by policemen, a Muslim cleric addresses a crowd during a demonstration to protest the execution of Saudi Shiite Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, shown in the poster in background, in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, Iran, S…

He said the latest development puts the diplomatic efforts to end the conflicts in the region “in doubt”.

Earlier Sunday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini spoke to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif by phone and urged Tehran to “defuse the tensions and protect the Saudi diplomats”, according to a statement.

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