Saudi Arabia may take more measures against Iran in execution row: foreign minister

Says the escalation is coming from Iran, not from Saudi Arabia or the GCC


Reuters January 09, 2016
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir (R) and Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani attend a news conference after an extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers of GCC, in Riyadh January 9, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

ABU DHABI: Saudi Arabia may take further measures against Iran after cutting ties with its regional rival this week, the Saudi foreign minister said on Saturday, in a major row over the kingdom's execution of a Shia cleric.

Adel al-Jubeir's comments came in a press conference after an extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), convened to discuss tensions with Iran after attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions there.

Saudi defence minister to visit Islamabad tomorrow

"We are looking at additional measures to be taken if it (Iran) continues with its current policies," Jubeir said, without elaborating on what these measures could be.

The crisis between conservative Sunni kingdom and Shia power Iran, both major oil exporters, started when Saudi Arabia executed Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Jan 2, triggering outrage among Shias across the Middle East.

Iran bans all products from Saudi Arabia after ties cut

In Iran, protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran, prompting Riyadh to sever relations. Tehran cut all commercial ties with Riyadh, and banned pilgrims from traveling to Mecca.

"The escalation is coming from Iran, not from Saudi Arabia or the GCC .... We are evaluating Iran's moves and taking steps to counter them..things will be clearer in the near future," Jubeir said.

After the meeting the GCC, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, condemned what they said was Iranian interference in the internal affairs of Saudi Arabia and the region.

Jubeir also said his country had asked the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, of which Iran is a member, to convene an extraordinary meeting to discuss the aggression against its embassy.

Iran has said the kingdom is to blame for the diplomatic crisis.

In a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon published by Iranian news agencies earlier on Saturday, Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complained about Saudi Arabia's "provocations" towards Tehran.

COMMENTS

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read