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Bahrain Expels Iranian Diplomats, Breaks off All Diplomatic Ties

Bahrain Expels Iranian Diplomats, Breaks off All Diplomatic Ties

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Hours after Saudi Arabia announced the severing of diplomatic ties with Iran, Bahrain similarly expelled Iranian diplomats from the country and cut off diplomatic ties, reported Bahrain News Agency.

Bahrain has given Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the country and has labelled them ‘persona non grata’.

In a statement, Bahrain condemned the attack on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in Mashhad as “cowardly”, adding that the attacks “violated international treaties” and inflamed sectarian tensions.

Similarly, Sudan has expelled Iran’s Ambassador from Khartoum and denounced Iran’s continued interference in the Middle East. However, it is unclear whether Sudan has cut off all diplomatic ties.

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates summoned the Iranian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi to condemn the storming and torching of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Earlier in the day, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League expressed support for Saudi Arabia’s fight against terrorism and condemned the attacks on Saudi diplomatic premises.

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran flared after Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry announced the execution of 47 people, including influential Shiite Sheikh Al-Nimr.

Protests against Saudi Arabia’s actions erupted in Yemen, Pakistan, Bahrain, and Iraq. In Lebanon, Hezbollah said the execution of Sheikh Al-Nimr was an “assassination” and called the move a “grave mistake”.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement, accused Saudi Arabia of seeking to ignite a civil war in the region and warned that the blood of Sheikh Al-Nimr would “plague the Al-Saud [ruling family] until the Day of Judgement”.

In Tehran, large groups of protesters stormed and torched part of the Saudi Arabian embassy, with police intervening hours later. Elsewhere in Iran, the Saudi Consulate in the the city of Mashhad was also attacked by a group connected to Iran’s Elite Revolutionary Guards.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the attack on the Saudi Arabian embassy and ordered the arrest and prosecution of all those involved.

However, hours after Iran’s President’s statements, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned that Saudi Arabia would face “divine revenge” for the execution of Sheikh Al-Nimr, calling Al-Nimr a “martyr”. Reports indicate Iran also changed the name of the street on which the Saudi embassy is located to “Sheikh Al-Nimr”.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have been engaged in a proxy war in Syria and Yemen, supporting opposing sides. The two countries have also had strained ties over Iran’s nuclear program, with Saudi Arabia denouncing the United States’ deal with Tehran earlier in 2015.

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