UN condemns attack on Saudi embassy in Iran

2016-01-05 11:32
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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New York - The UN Security Council has strongly condemned an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran by protesters angry over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

The statement by the 15-member council made no mention of the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and called on Iran to protect diplomatic personnel and property.

Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday after protesters ransacked and set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad.

Expressing "deep concern" over the attacks, the council "called on the Iranian authorities to protect diplomatic and consular property and personnel and to respect fully their international obligations in this regard."

Council members urged the sides to "maintain dialogue and take steps to reduce tensions in the region."

Peace efforts

Saudi Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi had earlier urged the council to "take all appropriate measures to ensure the inviolability of diplomatic facilities and the protection of all Saudi diplomats in Iran."

Riyadh also defended the execution of 47 men including Nimr, saying in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that they were "granted fair and just trials without any consideration to their intellectual, racial or sectarian affiliation."

International fears were growing that the Saudi-Iranian rift would derail peace efforts in Syria and Yemen and two UN envoys were dispatched to Riyadh to keep diplomatic gains afloat.

At Russia's request, the council on Tuesday will discuss the conflict in Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition ended a ceasefire with Iran-backed rebels in the country.

Read more on:    us  |  iran  |  saudi arabia

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