Iranian diplomats leave Saudi Arabia

Iranian diplomats leave Saudi Arabia as tensions in the Middle East increase and several nations recall ambassadors from Tehran after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran following the execution of 47 individuals including the Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

The Iranian diplomats were reported to have left Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia for Tehran after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran in response to protests and an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Additional nations have removed their ambassadors from Iran and others have scaled back diplomatic ties with the nation. Bahrain cut all diplomatic ties with Iran a day after Saudi Arabia officially announced their decision. Sudan promptly followed suit, cutting ties and expelling Tehran’s ambassador as a result of the attacks.

The UAE downgraded their level of diplomatic representation in Iran, recalling its ambassador, but did not fully sever ties. The UAE, Bahrain and Sudan, like Saudi Arabia, are Sunni majority countries. Kuwait has chosen to side with Saudi Arabia and has recalled its ambassador from Tehran. Qatar recalled its ambassador to Iran on Wednesday to protest the attacks on the embassy.

Djibouti became the fourth on the list of countries to sever full diplomatic relations Wednesday morning while Jordan has condemned the attack on the Saudi embassy and has called upon Iran’s ambassador to condemn the attacks and “Iranian interference” in Arab affairs.

Turkey’s president, Tayyip Erdogan stated the execution was “a domestic issue.” He also seemed to be referring to Iran when he said “those who remained silent about the deaths of people in Syria’s civil war were causing an uproar over the execution of one person in Saudi Arabia.” Iran, along with Russia, backs the Bashad Assad regime. In a statement from the ministry, “Turkey calls for an end to threats, and a return to diplomatic language, and urges mutual caution,” calling on both sides to de-escalate the situation.

Angry Iranians protested violently at the Saudi embassy and other diplomatic posts on Sunday. Protestors threw Molotov cocktails, causing the building to catch fire. Other protestors entered the building, proceeding to damage and ransack the offices. Iran claims to have made arrests and has publicly condemned the violence. Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of using the attack on the embassy as an “excuse” to sever ties and further increase sectarian tensions.

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