Saudi Arabia on Sunday cut ties with Iran, responding to the storming of its embassy in Tehran in an escalating row between the rival Middle East powers over Riyadh’s execution of a Shi’ite Muslim cleric.
On Monday, Bahrain and Sudan also cut diplomatic relations with Iran, and the UAE said it will reduce the number of Iranian diplomats it permits to be in its country.
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference in Riyadh that the envoy of Shi’ite Iran had been asked to quit Saudi Arabia within 48 hours. The kingdom, he said, would not allow the Islamic republic to undermine its security.
Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran early on Sunday and Shi’ite Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, predicted “divine vengeance” for the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken opponent of the ruling Al Saudi family.