Analyst: Sheikh Nimr Execution Complicates Regional Situation

Analyst: Sheikh Nimr Execution Complicates Regional Situation

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – An Egyptian analyst took a swipe at Saudi Arabia for executing prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, saying the “reckless” move complicates the situation and escalates tensions in the region.

The execution of Sheikh Nimr will only deepen rift among Muslims, Ali Abul Khair told Tasnim, describing the Saudi measure as part of attempts to add fuel to Sunni-Shiite disputes.

The Egyptian expert also noted that Riyadh’s decision to sever diplomatic ties with Tehran will be of no avail for the Al Saud, which faces opposition from “Salafists and modernists” that insist on a change in the Saudi political structure.

His comments follow Saudi Arabia’s move to cut ties with Iran, after the kingdom's execution of Sheikh Nimr.

Anger boiled up in Iran, Iraq and elsewhere in the region at the execution, which also drew widespread international condemnation.

In the early hours of Sunday, furious demonstrators in the Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad stormed Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic buildings in protest at the execution of the popular cleric.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticized the incident and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice but Riyadh chose to cut ties with Tehran anyway.

On Monday, Bahrain and Sudan severed all ties with Iran, following Riyadh's example. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh would also halt air traffic and commercial relations with Tehran.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also partially downgraded its relations with Iran.

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