Iran arrests 100 for attacks on Saudi embassy

Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni Eje announced on Sunday that 100 suspects have been placed under arrest for the January 2 storming of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran, which saw demonstrators ransack and eventually set the building on fire.

Iran’s Attorney General Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi on the announcement of the attack noted that 40 protesters had already been arrested at the embassy, but no members of staff had been present during that time.

The attack also resulted in further condemnation from the United Nations Security Council, the violation of diplomatic premises representing a failure of international obligations.

“In this context, and expressing their deep concern at such attacks, the members of the Security Council called on the Iranian authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel, and to respect fully their international obligations in this regard,” a spokesperson said. 

The attack on the embassy was sparked by the execution by Saudi Arabia of 47 men on terrorism charges, among these was the prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr.

Sherik Nimr had been noted for his suggestions of a new Shiite state to secede from the Sunni kingdom. It is believed he was also at odds with the ruling family for his comments on the death of Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz.

“He will be eaten by worms and suffer the torments in the grave,” Sheikh Nimr stated during a sermon in 2012. “The man who made us live in fear and terror; shouldn’t we rejoice at his death?”

Prince Nayef’s son Mohammed bin Nayef, however, was pushed forward by King Salman over his brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as the heir apparent, along with being appointed as interior minister. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was granted enormous influence and control in the state, one of which is handing down death sentences.

The targeting and mass execution of such rivals came during a period where tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia were already at severe diplomatic odds, due to their effective proxy wars conducted through supporting rebel groups in areas such as Syria and Yemen.


[The Independent] [Associated Press][New York Times] [Al-Jazeera] [CBS] [International Business Times] [Gulf Magazine] [Photo courtesy AP]