Saudi Arabia cuts ties with Iran after execution row, embassy attack

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Saudi Arabia says it is cutting ties with Iran over Iran’s “hostile” response to the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, which sparked protests and the storming of the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran.

Saudi foreign minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir announced the decision at a press conference on late Sunday night and said Saudi diplomatic staff will be evacuated from Iran, where protests have taken place following Saturday’s mass execution.

Al-Jubeir also demanded that Iranian diplomats leave Saudi Arabia within 48 hours, and said the kingdom remains “vigilant over Iranian threats” against Saudi diplomats in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

Staff from Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Tehran arrived in Dubai shortly after Al-Jubeir’s announcement, according to Al-Arabiya television.

Saudi Arabia executed 47 prisoners on Saturday, including Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was a central figure in Arab Spring-inspired protests in the kingdom.

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