Iran’s President Decries Sheikh Nimr Execution

Iran’s President Decries Sheikh Nimr Execution

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned Saudi Arabia’s execution of senior Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, saying the move is in line with policies that have fanned the flames of sectarianism and terrorism.

In a message on Sunday, President Rouhani said the “inhumane measure” by the Riyadh government is a “flagrant violation of human rights and Islamic values.”

“I have no doubts the Saudi government has further tainted its image in the world, particularly among Muslim countries, by taking such an un-Islamic measure,” Rouhani stated.

The president also denounced the cleric’s execution as part of Saudi Arabia’s “sectarian policies” and attempts to “fuel terrorism and extremism in the region and the world,” which have destabilized the region in recent years and have led to wars and clashes.

President Rouhani, however, criticized protests that erupted in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad last night in reaction to the execution of Sheikh Nimr, saying Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic premises in Iran should be protected.

He further called on the Interior Ministry to cooperate with the Judiciary and the Intelligence Ministry to identify perpetrators of Saturday night’s protests at the Saudi embassy and consulate and bring them to justice.

Earlier on Sunday, Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei branded Saudi Arabia’s execution of Sheikh Nimr as a “political mistake”, stressing that “divine vengeance” is awaiting the Al Saud regime.

“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”.


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