Ayatollah Khamenei Condemns Saudi Execution of Sheikh Nimr
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei branded Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as a “political mistake”, stressing that “divine vengeance” is awaiting the Al Saud regime.
Addressing students at a religious course in Tehran on Sunday morning, Ayatollah Khamenei strongly condemned execution of Sheikh Nimr, saying God’s wrath will undoubtedly rain down upon the Saudi politicians for unjustifiably shedding the blood of that martyr.
“The oppressed cleric (Sheikh Nimr) neither encouraged people to take armed action nor had been involved in covert conspiracy,” the Leader noted, stressing that Sheikh Nimr was only an outspoken critic that pursued “promotion of virtue and prevention of vice” on the basis of his religious honor.
Slamming the top cleric’s execution as Riyadh’s political mistake, Imam Khamenei said killing the innocent cleric will not go unanswered by God and the Al Saud officials will “very soon” pay the price for shedding his blood.
The Supreme Leader also criticized a muted response to the execution by those who claim to be advocating human rights, democracy and freedom, but at the same time support the Saudi regime.
“The Islamic world and the globe should feel responsibility for this issue,” the Leader said of Sheikh Nimr’s execution.
Enumerating Saudi Arabia’s crimes, such as bombardment of Yemeni people for more than ten months as well as military crackdown against people of Bahrain, Ayatollah Khamenei underlined that anybody who favors humanity, human rights and justice, should not remain indifferent to these incidents.
Hours after Saudi Arabia announced it has executed Sheikh Nimr, many religious figures in Iran and elsewhere began to voice anger at the Riyadh regime’s shocking move.
Among the 47 people executed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday were four Shiite Muslims, including Sheikh Nimr, accused of shooting policemen during anti-government protests in recent years.
The executions took place in 12 cities in Saudi Arabia, four prisons using firing squads and the others beheading. The bodies were then hanged from gibbets in the most severe form of punishment available in the kingdom's law.