Saudi embassy in Tehran torched after Shia cleric executed
(MENAFN- Asia Times) Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr
Police soon arrived and drove away the protestors while firefighters put out the blaze before it could spread.
Protestors also targeted the Saudi consulate in Mashhad and tore the flags.
Tehran may see more protests on Sunday.
Iranian Foreign Ministry described the execution of Sheikh Nimr as an act of 'imprudence' and 'irresponsibility'.
'Saudi Arabia supports terrorists but executes its critics' ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said.
Ansari said the Saudi government will 'pay dearly' for adopting such 'irresponsible policies'.
Iranian protesters ransacked the Saudi embassy before setting it on fire
The Saudi charge d'affairs was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry to hear Iran's strong protest to the execution of the pro-democracy cleric.
Hossein Amirabdollahian the Iranian deputy foreign minister for Arab affairs told the Saudi diplomat that Riyadh as the 'main accused' for the rise of terrorism and extremism in the region cannot acquit itself of the wrong policies which has pushed the region into more insecurity by executing Sheik Nimr under the pretext of fight against terrorism.
Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani said Saudi Arabia has created a 'whirlpool' for itself by executing al-Nimr.
The 'barbaric' act caused a pain in the heart of the Islamic community he said during a meeting in the coastal city of Bushehr adding this will undermine security in the Middle East region.
Iranian religious scholar Ayatollah Golpaygani said the execution facilitated the 'downfall of the House of Saud'.
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi said the Islamic world will 'take avenge of the Saudi regime'. He said the Islamic world was 'surprised' by the execution noting that if anybody doubted that the House of Saud is the 'core of fitna and takfir' in the world the execution left no room for such doubts.
Ahmad Khatami a Tehran Friday prayer leader told the Mehr news agency 'I have no doubt that this pure blood will stain the collar of the House of Saud and wipe them from the pages of history.'
Hometown of al-Nimr in turmoil
People in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern province poured into the streets of Qatif city on Saturday in reaction to the execution of prominent Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr as hundreds of Saudi security forces were sent to the region to suppress any possible uprising.
Calls for people’s protest rally in Qatif city the hometown of Sheikh Nimr surged in social media pages after Riyadh announced execution of globally renowned Shiite leader.
Al-Qatif Mobasher Twitter page that covers developments in Qatif and is widely shared in Eastern Saudi Arabia issued a public call for popular uprising in the Eastern city after the execution of the Shiite cleric.
The Riyadh government has dispatched large numbers of armored vehicles to Qatif to suppress the angry people protesting the execution of Sheikh Nimr.
Sarah Leah Middle East director for the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch a non-profit group told the Associated Press that the latest mass executions will “further stain Saudi Arabia’s troubling human rights record.”
The U.S. State Department said: “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.”
Amnesty International said Saudi Arabian authorities are using the guise of counterterrorism to settle political scores.
In Iraq Shiite political leader and cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called for demonstrations across the Gulf States to protest the execution of al-Nimr Reuters reported.
Protests sprang up in multiple countries in the wake of the cleric’s execution.
Al-Nimr was a vocal critic of Bahrain's monarchy which forcibly suppressed protests in 2011 with the help of Saudi troops. Popular among disgruntled Shiite youth in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia al-Nimr never denied the political charges against him but maintained he never carried weapons or called for violence AP reported.
In Lebanon leading Shiite cleric Abdul-Amir Kabalan condemned al-Nimr's execution describing it as 'a grave mistake that could have been avoided with a royal amnesty that would have helped reduce sectarian tensions in the region” AP reported.
Of the 47 executed 45 were Saudi nationals one was from Chad and another from Egypt. Four were Shiites.
Among those executed on Saturday was a convicted terrorist involved in a 2004 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah that left nine dead. Another was Faris al-Shuwail a leading ideologue in al-Qaeda's Saudi branch who was arrested in August 2004 during a massive crackdown following the series of deadly attacks AP reported.
The death of the al-Qaeda militants raises the prospect of revenge attacks. Al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate last month threatened violence if their sentences were carried out AP reported.
The executions took place in the capital Riyadh and 11 other cities and towns according to the Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry.
Saudi Arabia carried out 157 executions in 2015 all after King Salman assumed the throne in January. There were 90 executions in 2014.
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