RIYADH: Saudi Arabia accused Iran of sponsoring terror and undermining regional stability, as a diplomatic spat between both countries escalated Saturday over the kingdom’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric.
“The Iranian regime is the last regime in the world that could accuse others of supporting terrorism, considering that (Iran) is a state that sponsors terror, and is condemned by the United Nations and many countries,” said a foreign ministry spokesman in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency.
The statement was the second after the kingdom’s foreign ministry announced it had summoned the Iranian ambassador in Riyadh to protest an “aggressive” statement by Tehran on the execution of Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
“Iran’s regime has no shame as it rants on human rights matters, even after it executed hundreds of Iranians last year without a clear legal basis,” said the statement.
In Tehran meanwhile, angry crowds hurled Molotov cocktails and stormed the Saudi embassy in protest at Nimr’s execution before being cleared by police, ISNA news agency reported. Fires were seen burning inside the building, it said.
It will “pay a high price for following these policies,” said Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari.
Iran’s statements reveal its “true face as a backer of terrorism, which is a continuity of its policies in undermining security and stability in the region,” the unidentified Saudi ministry spokesman said.
“By defending the acts of terrorists… the Iranian regime is considered a partner in their crimes and is held completely responsible for its policies of incitement and escalation.”