Uproar in Middle East after Saudi Arabia executes top Shiite cleric
04 January 2016
Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Civil Aviation has announced a halt to all flights to and from Iran.
“Based on the kingdom’s announcement of the severing of diplomatic relations with Iran, the General Authority for Civil Aviation is halting all flights from and to Iran,” the authority wrote on Twitter.
Germany is planning to reexamine its arms export to Saudi Arabia after the Gulf kingdom executed 47 people, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.
“We can see that it was right to neither deliver tanks nor G36 assault rifles to Saudi Arabia,” Gabriel said. “Now we have to review whether we also need to evaluate defensive armaments more critically in the future.”
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Baghdad on Monday to condemn the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi Arabian authorities, Ruptly reports. Scuffles broke out among the protesters in front of police lines in the Iraqi capital.
The Arab League is planning to hold emergency talks on Riyadh’s request to discuss the Iranian attacks on the Saudi embassy, said Ahmed Ben Helli, the league’s deputy secretary-general.
Riyadh is planning to cut off flights all between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and will ban its citizens from traveling to Iran, the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Reuters.
The website of the Saudi Defense Ministry has been hacked by group of Young Saudis called “Brave Youth Fighting Religious Taboos,” Iran’s Fars News reported. The hackers claimed that the cyberattack was in retaliation for the recent execution of leading Shiite cleric Sheikh Al-Nimr.
“We will continue defending the religious sanctities and also targeting the enemies and oppressors involved in the killing of the freedom-seekers and revolutionaries,” the hackers said, according to Fars.
France has urged “deescalation” in the heated argument between Iran and Saudi Arabia, government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Monday, following the first cabinet meeting this year. He underscored France’s role as a neutral player and intermediary in the matter.
France expects Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to visit at the end of January for talks with French President Francois Hollande.
A political Saudi Twitter account posted this tweet.
According to WAM, the UAE is now looking to cut the number of Iranian diplomats in the country.
The Saudi Press Agency reports that Sudan is the next to follow in moving to sever ties with Iran. The country announced the expulsion of the Iranian ambassador by phone with Riyadh, reportedly telling Saudi Arabia it stands with it in condemning Iran’s alleged interference in the region.
— واس (@spagov) January 4, 2016