Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr execution: Major protests return to Tehran after killing of Shia cleric

Worshippers carryied pictures of Sheikh Nimr and chanted 'Death to al-Saud'

Emma Gatten
Friday 08 January 2016 21:09
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Iranian protesters hold placards and shout slogans during a demonstration in Tehran on January 8, 2016, against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr
Iranian protesters hold placards and shout slogans during a demonstration in Tehran on January 8, 2016, against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets of the capital Tehran to protest against Saudi Arabia in the wake of its execution of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Worshippers who took part in Friday prayers joined the rally, carrying pictures of Sheikh Nimr and chanting “Death to al-Saud,” referring to the kingdom’s royal family.

Similar protests took place in other Iranian cities and towns, Iranian state media reported.

Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran after crowds of protesters attacked two of its diplomatic posts in Iran. The attacks came after Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr and others on 2 January.

Among those executed were inmates suffering from mental illness, according to reports, as well as some who were juveniles at the time of their arrest. Four of the men were from the Shia-majority Eastern Province, while the other 43 were accused of having links to al-Qaeda. Among the juveniles was Mustafa Abkar from Chad, who was 13 years old at the time of his arrest in 2003, the Middle East Eye reported.

The escalating tensions between the two adversaries may imperil efforts to end the wars gripping Syria and Yemen, where Saudi Arabia and Iran back rival sides.

Additional reporting from AP

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