Iran accuses Saudi of air strike on Yemen embassy

By AFP
Published: January 7, 2016
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Iranian women demonstrate in Tehran against the execution of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities, on January 4, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Iranian women demonstrate in Tehran against the execution of prominent Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities, on January 4, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

TEHRAN: Saudi warplanes “deliberately” struck Iran’s embassy in Yemen in an air raid that wounded staff, Tehran said Thursday, as tensions between the two regional powers mounted.

“This deliberate action by Saudi Arabia is a violation of all international conventions that protect diplomatic missions,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hossein Jaber Ansari was quoted as saying by state television.

“The Saudi government is responsible for the damage caused and for the situation of members of staff who were injured,” Ansari added, without specifying when the alleged strike took place.

“The Islamic republic reserves the right to pursue its interests in this matter,” he said.

Iran warns Saudi to stop ‘adding fuel to fire’

Often at loggerheads over regional issues, a full-blown split between Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia and Shia-dominated Iran erupted at the weekend when Riyadh executed prominent Shia cleric and activist Nimr al-Nimr along with 46 others.

Nimr’s death sparked demonstrations in many countries including Iran, where protesters stormed and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran as well as the kingdom’s consulate in second city Mashhad.

Riyadh cut ties with Tehran in response and was joined by some of its Sunni Arab allies including Bahrain and Sudan. The United Arab Emirates also downgraded relations with Iran while Kuwait and Qatar recalled their ambassadors.

A Saudi-led coalition has waged an air war on Iran-backed rebels in Yemen since March and the impoverished nation’s conflict is one of the main sources of dispute between the two regional adversaries.

‘We are not natural-born enemies of Iran,’ Saudi UN envoy says

Also on Thursday, Iran banned all products from Saudi Arabia and said a ban on Iranians travelling to the Saudi holy city of Makkah for the Umrah pilgrimage would remain in place “until further notice”.

“The cabinet has banned the entry of all Saudi products and products from Saudi Arabia,” a government statement said.

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