Saudis threaten new measures in row with Iran

Saudi Arabia on Saturday said it was considering new steps against Iran amid a sharp dispute between the two regional rivals.

“Saudi Arabia is looking into additional measures against Iran if it continues its aggression,” Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said without giving details.

Relations between Riyadh and Tehran soured last week when Iran condemned Saudi Arabia's execution of dissident Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a fiery critic of the kingdom's Sunni authorities.

Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran, angered by Tehran's vehement criticism of the execution and the storming of its embassy in Tehran.

Al-Jubeir accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism.

“Iran is used to interfering in affairs of its neighbours and sponsoring terrorism,” he said at a press conference in Riyadh following a meeting of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) of which Saudi Arabia is a member.

The bloc also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman.

GCC head Abdel-Latif al-Zayani told the same press conference that the council "stands united" with Saudi Arabia. 

Earlier this week, Sunni-ruled and Shiite-majority Bahrain severed ties with Iran in solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

The UAE downgraded its relations with Tehran, while Kuwait and Qatar recalled their ambassadors to Iran.

Oman called the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran “unacceptable”, but stopped short of downgrading ties with Iran.

Arab League foreign ministers are due to meet in Cairo Sunday to discuss the Saudi-Iranian tensions.

The current row between Saudi Arabia and Iran is their worst since 1988 following deadly clashes between Saudi security forces and Iranian pilgrims, prompting a three-year severance of ties between Riyadh and Tehran.

Last update: Sat, 09/01/2016 - 18:37
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