Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 8 December 2019

Suspects accused of attacking Saudi embassy appear in Tehran court

Twenty-one men accused of storming Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January appeared in a Tehran court on Monday, weeks after President Hassan Rouhani urged the judiciary to take action.
Flames rise from Saudi Arabia's embassy after it was stormed by Iranian protesters during a demonstration in Tehran, Iran on January 2, 2016. Mehdi Ghasemi/ISNA/File Photo from Reuters
Flames rise from Saudi Arabia's embassy after it was stormed by Iranian protesters during a demonstration in Tehran, Iran on January 2, 2016. Mehdi Ghasemi/ISNA/File Photo from Reuters

Twenty-one men accused of storming Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January appeared in a Tehran court on Monday, weeks after President Hassan Rouhani urged the judiciary to take action.

The suspects are accused of “disturbing the public order and damaging embassy buildings”, according to Iran’s Tasnim news agency.

Riyadh cut diplomatic relations with Tehran after protesters attacked the kingdom’s embassy in the capital and consulate in Mashhad following the execution of Sheikh Nimr Al Nimr, a prominent Saudi Shiite imam.

The Iranian government promptly condemned the attack and Mr Rouhani asked the judiciary to punish the protesters and to halt embassy attacks, which have recurred throughout the Islamic Republic 37-year history and often complicated its foreign policy.

Iranian demonstrators attacked the embassy of the United States in 1979, Kuwait in 1987, Saudi Arabia in 1988, Denmark in 2006 and Britain in 2011 — most of which have led to a breach in diplomatic relations.

None of the attackers in those incidents were convicted.

Iran’s judiciary announced in April that more than 100 suspects had been arrested in relation to the attack on the Saudi missions and 48 had been charged. All were released on bail.

Speaking in the judiciary’s annual gathering in June, Mr Rouhani said the attackers had been identified and urged the courts to take action.

“People want to know how the judiciary will deal with those who attacked the embassy against the law and Iran’s national security,” Mr Rouhani was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

“They are waiting to hear the verdicts for these rogue elements.”.

* Reuters

Updated: July 18, 2016 04:00 AM

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