Monday, January 04, 2016

Riyadh Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Iran

Riyadh Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Iran

by Stephen Lendman

On Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran - using the pretext of angry Iranians storming its embassy, expressing outrage over Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr’s extrajudicial execution.

Iranian diplomats were given 48 hours to leave the kingdom. Saudi ones returned home from Iran over the weekend. 

Tehran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian said “Riyadh cannot cover up its big mistake of executing a religious man by announcing cut relations with Tehran.”

No Saudi diplomats or staff were injured during the embassy storming incident. Police restored order and cordoned off the building to assure security and safety.

“Iran is one of the safest countries in the region, and all diplomats are fulfilling their responsibilities in full security,” Andollahian stressed.

Saudi rulers support regional terrorism and instability. Executing Sheikh Nimr is their latest outrage, largely ignored by Western leaders other than meaningless pro forma statements.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said “(w)hile the extremist and Takfiri terrorists have deprived the regional and world nations of security and tranquility and threaten certain regional governments' stability and existence, execution of a figure like Sheikh Nimr who didn’t have any instrument but words to pursue his political and religious goals merely shows (Riyadh’s) depth of imprudence and irresponsibility.”

Longstanding Saudi/Iranian relations are tenuous at best, each nation pursuing polar opposite regional objectives - Riyadh supporting terrorism and instability allied with Washington’s imperial agenda, Tehran forthrightly for diplomacy to resolve ongoing conflicts.

Riyadh previously cut ties with Iran in 1988 after protesters attacked its embassy. In 1991, they were restored but remained irreconcilably strained.

Tehran remain justifiably angry over last September’s Mecca hajj pilgrimage stampede - strongly criticizing Riyadh’s handling of the incident. Over 450 Iranians died.

The kingdom is the epicenter of regional state-sponsored terrorism, instability and contempt for human rights, continuing to exacerbate tensions. 

A war of words risks something more serious in a part of the world ridden with endless conflicts. Jubeir recklessly accused Tehran of creating “terrorist cells” in the kingdom.

Reuters quoted an anonymous source, accusing Tehran irresponsibly of “thumb(ing) (its) nose at the West…continu(ing) to sponsor terrorism and launch ballistic missiles and no one is doing anything about it. The Saudis really don’t care if they anger the White House” by severing relations.

They’ve been irreconcilably hostile for years. Riyadh’s support for regional terrorism, endless conflicts and instability makes normal relations impossible.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.