Tag Archives: Gulf

Iranians storm & set ablaze Saudi embassy in Tehran to protest Shiite cleric’s execution

Police used tear gas in Tehran after a crowd of angry protesters broke into the Saudi embassy, ravaging its offices and throwing Molotov cocktails at the building. The mayhem broke out at a rally set off by Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

Police used tear gas in Tehran after a crowd of angry protesters broke into the Saudi embassy, ravaging its offices and throwing Molotov cocktails at the building. The mayhem broke out at a rally set off by Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

Footage uploaded on Twitter by Iranian journalist Sobhan Hassanvand showed angry protesters pillaging the ground floor of the Saudi embassy, tearing apart furniture, flags, and documents. It was then engulfed in one big blaze, seemingly after the angry mob, outraged over the Saudi execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh al-Nimr, threw Molotov cocktails at the building.

One of the protesters was also pictured holding a torn Saudi flag, which was reportedly brought down at the compound, outside the embassy.

Police eventually resorted to tear gas to scatter the protesters and managed to force the crowd out of the building and cordon it off again.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or injuries due to the violence. Photos from inside the ravaged ground floor appear to show it is now empty.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement early on Sunday calling for calm and asking protesters to respect the property of diplomatic premises, the Entekhab news website reported.

A ministry’s spokesman, Hossein Jaber Ansari, then said there should be no further demonstrations around the Saudi embassy, according to the state news agency IRNA.

Meanwhile, local journalists have been reporting that the Saudi Arabia’s embassy staff will be evacuated out of Iran tonight.Earlier, images of fire breaking out at the embassy building were shared on Twitter. A Mehr editor has reported a gas explosion, while photos from the scene show the building engulfed in flames.Iran’s security forces had cordoned off the area around the embassy. Photos from the scene showed a heavy police presence.

Protesters gathered in several cities across Iran on Saturday angered by the Gulf kingdom’s execution of al-Nimr, who was put to death along with 46 other prisoners.

Nimr had been the most vocal critic of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family prior to mass protests that erupted in 2011. He called for regular demonstrations against the ruling elite. Shiites have long complained that they are victims of discrimination in the Sunni powerhouse. Nimr had often called for better protection for the country’s Shiite minority.

Protesters in the city of Mashhad in northwestern Iran gathered on Saturday near the Saudi consulate, throwing Molotov cocktails at the building.  Photos showed several protesters trying to climb the fence around the building. There were reportedly some clashes with police.

The predominately Shiite Iran has bashed Riyadh, accusing the Kingdom of supporting terrorism and executing its opponents. Iran said it has summoned the Saudi charge d’affaires in Tehran.

The Saudi government supports terrorists and takfiri [heretic] extremists, while executing and suppressing critics inside the country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said, as cited by state news agency IRNA.

In the wake of the execution, Iranian lawmakers asked the Foreign Ministry to downgrade diplomatic ties with the Saudi government, FARS news agency reported. They proposed reducing the number of Saudi diplomats and consulates in Iran.

In turn, Saudi Arabia summoned the Iranian ambassador in Riyadh over Iran’s “hostile” remarks on executions, according to the state news agency SPA.

The ministry expressed “astonishment and its utter rejection of these hostile statements, which it deemed a blatant intervention in the kingdom’s affairs.”

 

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Arab Analysts: Egypt at Top of Agenda for Obama Saudi Arabia Trip

Middle East Institute Scholar Mohamed Elmenshawy on Tuesday published an extensive analysis of the psychological and geopolitical role played by the Egyptian army in the Arab world, amid increasing coverage and analysis in the Arab world regarding President Barack Obama’s potentially pivotal upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia.

Obama will soon go to meet Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in Riyadh at a time when bilateral relations are very tense because of nuclear talks with Iran that could lead to improved relations between Tehran and the West. They also differ on the Syrian crisis especially after Washington refused to use force despite reports of the Syrian regime iusing chemical weapons against its opponents. But the real cleft between the two began earlier because of their opposing positions on the January 25 Revolution and this has not been addressed until today. Accordingly, Egypt will be high on the agenda of summit talks between Obama and King Abdullah.

The visit comes at a time of unprecedented public strain between Washington and its traditional Gulf allies, and earlier this week the Daily Beast revealed that relations between the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were in an unprecedented crisis. Gulf nations are known to be livid with the administration over its handling of Egyptian political turmoil, which they believe the White House has irresponsibly stoked without regard for the risks presented by populist Islamist movements.

Elmenshawy’s analysis – published in Ahram Online under the headline “Egypt, the wound in US-Saudi relations” – quoted one Gulf diplomat as explaining that Cairo is looked to as the source of “tens of thousands of soldiers if needed” to help repulse threats to Arab countries.

“If we ever face such a terrible day as Kuwait did at the hands of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in 1990, we all know there are only two armies that can truly help us, including sending tens of thousands of soldiers if needed. They are the US and the Egyptian armies.”

via Arab Analysts: Egypt at Top of Agenda for Obama Saudi Arabia Trip – The Tower – The Tower.

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Gulf stability crucial for Egypt’s national security, says PM – Alarabiya.net

EGYPT-POLITICS-GOVERNMENT-COMMITTEE-BEBLAWIEgyptian interim Prime Minister Hazim al-Beblawi likened violations on the security of Gulf states to harm against his country’s national security during his second-day visit to the UAE on Sunday.

Beblawi’s statement came after a deal signed with the UAE on Saturday for $1.9 billion in new loans, fuel supplies and other assistance.

He said Egypt will benefit from the UAE’s experience in boosting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Egypt and the UAE will delve into “all the opportunities that will benefit cooperation between the two countries,” he added.

“Our relationship with the UAE doesn’t only stop at the two governments collaborating but will also include the private sector,” he said, adding “the UAE has the second largest [amount of] Arab investments in Egypt, and we are ready to take notes and reduce obstacles faced by investors.”

Following the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohammad Mursi in July, the UAE promised $3 billion in aid as part of the overall $12 billion aid package from Gulf states.

Meanwhile, Beblawi said Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement’s brief rule in Egypt tarnished the country’s image and its own.

The official UAE news agency WAM said the new pact with Egypt provides a framework for aid to the country and could open the door for more assistance.

Gulf stability crucial for Egypt’s national security, says PM – Alarabiya.net English | Front Page.