Speed Reads

Foreign affairs

Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic ties with Iran

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister announced Sunday that the kingdom has cut off diplomatic relations with Iran, following protests at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran condemning Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

On Saturday, 47 people were executed in Saudi prisons, including 56-year-old Shiite leader Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had called for equality between Shiites and Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, the Los Angeles Times reports. In response, hundreds of people, some hurling Molotov cocktails, protested outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, with many calling for the "Wahhabi embassy" to be shut down. On Twitter, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Nimr a martyr and said "divine revenge will seize Saudi politicians."

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel Jubair, said the Iranian government has 48 hours to close down its offices and remove all diplomats from the country.