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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Iran's history is full of negative interference and hostility in Arab issues. —AFP/File
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says Iran's history is full of negative interference and hostility in Arab issues. —AFP/File

DUBAI: Iran accused Saudi Arabia on Monday of using an attack on its embassy as a pretext to sever ties in a diplomatic crisis deepening their often violent struggle for influence across the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran on Sunday and fellow-Sunni Bahrain followed suit on Monday, two days after Iranian demonstrators stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran in protest at Riyadh's execution of a senior Shia cleric.

Saudi Arabia's General Authority for Civil Aviation halted all flights to and from Iran, the authority said on its official Twitter account.

“Based on the kingdom's announcement of the severing of diplomatic relations with Iran, the General Authority for Civil Aviation is halting all flights from and to Iran,” the authority tweeted.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) also downgraded its ties with Iran, as the dispute between the region's top Sunni and Shia powers rippled across the region, driving up oil prices and threatening to widen the Middle East's sectarian divide.

A man was shot dead in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province late on Sunday when security officers came under fire, and two Sunni mosques in Iraq's Shia-majority Hilla province were bombed.

After a furious response in Shia communities worldwide to the Sunni kingdom's execution of Shia Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accused Iran of creating “terrorist cells” among the kingdom's Shia minority.

Iran retorted that Riyadh had used the embassy incident and an similar attack on its consulate in the Iranian city of Mashhad as an “excuse” to stoke tensions.

Oil prices rose almost two per cent, overcoming economic weakness in Asia, as the two big petroleum exporters traded insults and tensions spilled into other crude producers such as Iraq.

Stock markets across the Gulf dropped sharply, led by Qatar which fell more than 2.5 per cent, with geopolitical jitters outweighing any benefit from stronger oil.

Crude importer China declared itself “highly concerned” with the developments, in a rare foray into Middle East diplomacy. The United States and Germany called for restraint, while Russia offered to mediate an end to the dispute.

The tensions threatened to derail efforts to end Syria's five-year-old civil war, where Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab powers support rebel groups against Iran-backed President Bashar al-Assad.

In neighbouring Lebanon, newspapers said the spat had clouded the hopes of filling the vacant presidency that had been raised last month after Iran and Saudi Arabia both voiced support for a power-sharing deal.

'Divine Revenge'

Saudi Arabia executed Nimr and three other Shias on terrorism charges on Saturday, alongside dozens of Sunni jihadists. Shia Iran hailed him as a “martyr” and warned Saudi Arabia's ruling Al Saud family of “divine revenge”.

Shia groups united in condemnation of Saudi Arabia while Sunni powers rallied behind the kingdom, hardening a sectarian split that has torn apart communities across the Middle East and nourished the jihadist ideology of Islamic State.

Al-Azhar, the Cairo-based seat of Sunni Muslim learning, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Saudi Arabia, condemned the attacks on Riyadh's missions and stressed Tehran's obligation to respect the internal affairs of the kingdom.

The UAE, an ally of Saudi Arabia that is also home to hundreds of thousands of Iranians, cut the number of Iranian diplomats allowed in the country, after summoning the ambassador to protest what it called Iran's interference in Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni government on Monday announced a curfew in the port city of Aden, a beach-head for Saudi and UAE forces waging war on the Shia Houthi group that controls much of the country. A ceasefire collapsed on Saturday.

Western powers, many of which supply billions of dollars worth of weaponry to Gulf Arab powers, tried to tamp down the tensions with Iran but also deplored the executions, as human rights groups strongly criticised Saudi Arabia's judicial process and protesters gathered outside Saudi embassies.

Comments (214) Closed

Changez_Khan Jan 04, 2016 02:49am

Now Pakistan should sever ties with Saudi Arabia.

PakCanuck Jan 04, 2016 02:53am

This is not looking good. Diplomatic relationship, no matter how rocky, is always better than no relationship.

haider Jan 04, 2016 03:00am

For God's sake, Pakistan, stay out of this mess

Atlantic Jan 04, 2016 03:04am

Immature action taken by KSA, even if provoked. Having said that, Iran has once again allowed its public to attack a forigen embassy (many will remember what they did to the US embassy a few decades ago) - simply wrong.

Taimoor khan Jan 04, 2016 03:05am

Do whatever you wish. Pakistan is not part of any middle East mess created by Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Shiblee Jan 04, 2016 03:11am

Hummm! Does this mean no visas for Iranian for Hajj or Umrah?

NS Jan 04, 2016 03:13am

Time for pakistan to take sides. You are in big trouble no matter which side you take!

Layman Jan 04, 2016 03:15am

And this is the Tsunami ....

Basit Jan 04, 2016 03:16am

This will make things worse. I hope ties are restored soon. Iran should have provided security to Saudi embassy, this could have even ended badly.

For that matter they should provide security to all embassies. Iranian have a history of burning down embassies and taking their staff hostages.

Shah Jan 04, 2016 03:19am

Very heavy headed and unjustifiable decision. Whole world is condemning the execution. Pakistan to keep away from Saudi alliance.

Jamal Jan 04, 2016 03:40am

Iran and S.Arabia are the two sides of the same coin, waging their proxy wars from Lebanon to Pakistan

Rafi Ka Deewana Jan 04, 2016 03:41am

It was just a matter of time. The signs looks pretty ominous. Hopefully, with oil prices so low, no one will dare to get into an all-out war.

Ahmer Jan 04, 2016 03:46am

Good decision by Saudi Arabia. Sanctions should be re-imposed on Iran for fomenting trouble inside other countries.

Wollstonecraft Jan 04, 2016 03:50am

Gotta love the Muslim brotherhood!

Adeel Jan 04, 2016 03:55am

Is it going a bit too far or is it just me?

Ali Jan 04, 2016 03:55am

No good

jazzy Jan 04, 2016 04:01am

and Iran has done same in Pakistan also.. sowed the seeds of sectarian divide.

PakPower Jan 04, 2016 04:06am

Saudi Arabia has a very sanctimonious approach here. It is as if they never had a bad effect on the Muslim world themselves.

Riaz M M Jan 04, 2016 04:08am

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia over the years have become major cause of instability in the Muslim world .Both are also involved in meddling in Afghanistan.Muslims do not need to blame USA,Israel and Russia as long as these two keep on playing their dirty games.

Cyrus Jan 04, 2016 04:09am

Iran is not going to cooperate with anyone. Saudi Arabia is not going to cooperate with anyone.

Concerned Jan 04, 2016 04:15am

Saudi government has become "unhinged". Instead of reducing regional tensions they are acting as a bunch of immature adolescents.

Ahmer Jan 04, 2016 04:19am

Good decision.

Umer Jan 04, 2016 04:22am

Whatever! Pakistan please stay out of it!

Mirza Nazeer Baig Jan 04, 2016 04:24am

Saudi Arab is working in favor of western interest. Her acts must be condemned at all levels.

Mehtab Jan 04, 2016 04:27am

Saudi belligerent acts are dangerous for peace and stability in a volatile region and detrimental to the unity of Ummah. Sheikh Nimr's execution was a grave mistake. And it has been carried out for political gains. By taking this aggressive step Saudis have threatened their own internal security.

lafanga Jan 04, 2016 04:27am

Not good for the region and the world. Someone needs to step in and deescalate the situation before it gets out of hand. Pakistan also needs to be very very careful how it navigates the tricky situation.

wshaikh Jan 04, 2016 04:32am

I am confident that Iranian Government is not losing their sleep over it. Saudi Arabian government is stuck in their own web and don't know what to do. Lately, they have been making some stupid decisions.

N_Saq Jan 04, 2016 04:37am

The monarchy is in dangers

Rohail Jan 04, 2016 04:50am

Pakistan should stay away from Saudi led military coalition.

Ahmed Jan 04, 2016 04:51am

A self inflicted wound. Israel is happy today.

Khurram Jan 04, 2016 04:54am

Both Saudi Arabia and Iran never miss a single opportunity to ignite hatred on sectarian lines.

kumail12 Jan 04, 2016 04:55am

KSA will not escape world opinion against her for treating citizen with beheading etc.

Sikandar Jan 04, 2016 04:56am

The game begins in middle east. Which way Pakistan is going to turn. It would be wise for Pakistan to stay neutral or at best try to mediate peace between the two rivals. However, this scenario is unlikely since Pakistan has lost its credibility in recent years.

Riaz Jan 04, 2016 05:02am

With a friend like Saudi Arabia who needs enemy.

M Waj Jan 04, 2016 05:18am

This is an unnecessary escalation. Channels of communication should always remain open.

T. M. Wazir Jan 04, 2016 05:22am

It's a win win situation for the western world. I don't see that light in end of the tunnel when Muslim world will unite. We all can hope but hope means nothing sometimes. Muslim world is lacking visionary leadership badly. Good luck Muslim world.

Govind Success Jan 04, 2016 05:23am

start of the end.these 4 words hv lot in them .

Kazim Abbas Jan 04, 2016 05:26am

Saudi Arabia is making hasty decisions......killing an Ayatollah for speaking against monarchism and injustice which is anyway not part of real Islam. Islam discourages monarch rather give importance to 'taqwa and Ilm'......And now severing ties is another one. SA will end up isolating itself.

Miadand Jan 04, 2016 05:26am

Interesting so What r we going to do now ? We too should call back our ambassador from Iran in support of our Saudi brothers or just wait n watch !

Abdullah Khan Jan 04, 2016 05:37am

Alas! disunity between the two lofty Islamic countries.

Arif Jan 04, 2016 05:43am

Can someone stop these two bullies of Middle East?

NHM Jan 04, 2016 05:44am

Pot calling the kettle black

ElliAlli Jan 04, 2016 05:48am

Right step from KSA

divide and rule Jan 04, 2016 06:14am

Terrible decision by Saudi Government. They kill peaceful muslim protester who did not encourge violence nor practiced it...just because he was speaking against the injustice of the house of Saud..

Kapil Jan 04, 2016 06:18am

Let's hope peace prevails. It is the need for hour. Already the region is so volatile, no more sabre-rattling needed.

Afzal Jan 04, 2016 06:21am

Saudies have made the right decision and Pakistan should follow the same

skb Jan 04, 2016 06:22am

Iran should have controlled the attackers specially on diplomatic ground in the country. They have a bad history of doing so. Beside out of 47 accused terrorist 44 Sunni and 3 Shiite. No body is talking about other 44? Pakistan recent hanging and punishment for the terrorist, So....should we all now get up and ask the Government/ Military not punish any more terrorist. Law of the land should be respected...

khan Jan 04, 2016 06:24am

Muslim ummah needs no enemy

Abdul Malik Jan 04, 2016 06:38am

@Riaz Absolutely, agreed 100%

hamid Jan 04, 2016 06:53am

@Umer dont worry! Saudi and Iran are oil rich advanced economies. They dont much care for Pakistan. We will not be asked or allowed to play a role.

Aa Jan 04, 2016 06:56am

I just hope this keeps Saudi busy for next few months and this guy doesn't come to pakistan

Zahid Jan 04, 2016 07:04am

Saudis will most likely now start/expedite nuclear options with the argument that they need to counter their 'arch' enemy with nuclear know-how. Looks like start of yet another global proxy war with only beneficiary being Israel.

Pakistan should stay away from this mud-slinging contest and act as a mediator among the two brotherly nations.

May the saner heads prevail.

imran Jan 04, 2016 07:09am

As if the region does'nt have enough problems. These countries have been at each other for decades trying to dominate the region. As always the victims are always innocent civilians.

Nizar Jan 04, 2016 07:14am

@NS: Not really! Pakistan need to stay neytral as KSA may need us to calm the situation down with Iran. Also, ever since the ailing Salman took over and surrounded himself with inexperienced and immature kins, everything they have done is childish.

Qamer Jan 04, 2016 07:14am

A bad news, not a good idea, instead they should work together to resolve the issue.

skb Jan 04, 2016 07:22am

@T. M. Wazir What Win it bring to West? An unstable ME, terrorist and sectarian violence, refugees that they have to feed and provide shelter... Health education. Because of Middle East unstable.

S. A. M. Jan 04, 2016 07:27am

Pakistan should not take sides with any of these 2 countries. If they want to fight they should have the guts to do it amongst themselves and in their own battlefields instead of maligning others.

Mike London Jan 04, 2016 07:28am

Pakistan is in between a rock and a hard place now.

razi Jan 04, 2016 07:38am

More blunders...

Arif Jan 04, 2016 07:41am

Saudi arabia is itself isolated due its barbaric and authoritarian regime and its illogical and inhumane laws.. Instead of getting it more isolated the Saudi government should modernize their barren deserted minds for compliance with the needs of 21st century..

Baba Jan 04, 2016 07:53am

Worst step taken by KSA in hast to ignite the already tense situation. They should rethink and decide. Pakistan should maintain its impartiality and try to cool down the burning issue.

S. A. M. Jan 04, 2016 07:56am

it's been curculated that Saudis are not happy with Al Saud and the slightest expression of discontent with Al Saud can lead you to the gallows. on the others hand majority of Iranians are not happy with the mullah regime but there is comparatively much more freedom in Iran than Saudi Arab. to me both the regimes are losing their grip on the affairs of their respective countries. however, Al Saud appear to be taking such decisions that will only hasten their early demise. Mullah in Iran appear to be still taking very calculated decisions.

anwar siddique Jan 04, 2016 07:58am

In all due respect look from the perspective of KSA. Iraq with its 60%+ Shia population is now a Iranian vassal state north of KSA. In the south the Houthi rebels(Shia) were knocking on the door. The Saudis feel cornered by Iran and are reacting accordingly. My government(US) is happy to do some of the dirty work for KSA as the KSA has MORE influence than the Israel lobby. Remember the Bush family has been in business with the house of Saud since th early 1960s. Pakistan did the right thing by not sending troops to fight the Hotis. Now the Saudis have an "Anti-terror" coalition and Pakistan is part of that.

Mustafa Jan 04, 2016 08:02am

Nothing justifies attack on embassy of any country. Why are the embassies of different countries attacked in Iran? How would Iran react if someone attacks Iranian embassy?

zain khan Jan 04, 2016 08:04am

Pakistan will have three option to join Iran,Russian,Iraq,Lebanon,Syria collation or to join 34 country collation and the last option to stay alone

Basit Jan 04, 2016 08:09am

I can understand Saudi decision to close down its embassy for security reasons since there is a history of Iranians burning down embassies and even taking diplomats as hostages but severing all ties might not have been a good move. I hope sense prevails and ties are restored. Iran should also provide security to embassies on its soil.

Fahim Khan Jan 04, 2016 08:12am

Saudis MUST stop chopping heads of political prisoners.

Jehanzeb Idrees Jan 04, 2016 08:12am

Nimr was a Saudi national, a foreign country shouldn't have reacted the way Iran did as it allowed yet another embassy to be ransacked by its State-sponsored mob. Saudi monarchy is increasingly isolated and fearing the worse by fueling turmoil in the Levant. Iran also is neck deep in this mess and together these autocratic regimes and their sectarian divide and its sponsorship has become a curse for Muslims and only contributing in defaming Islam.

Shahzad Jan 04, 2016 08:17am

@Changez_Khan: Why should Pakistan sever ties with SA? ... Pakistan should do nothing, take a hot cup of tea and popcorn, sit on sofa and watch the movie.

We have to know that Pakistan long term interest lies with Iran as Iran could give us land route to Europe as well as 'Oil and Gas' without using vulnerable sea route. Iran can also help in getting smuggled goods if for whatever reason Pakistan get sanction. In time of war, due to joined border, Iran and Afghanistan can help Pakistan most, especially Iran.

Anyhow, with thugs and crooks are leaders, it is very unlikely that Pakistan is soon going to be financially strong, and that means less standard of living or jobs for most, hence many Pakistanis would need work abroad. Saudis are lazy lot with no capability of working hard in industry, agriculture or construction, thus Pakistan need Saudia for jobs. Iran is completely opposite to that.

kumar Jan 04, 2016 08:22am

@Fahim Khan I agree

kumar Jan 04, 2016 08:24am

@jazzy This is not true. KSA has far larger effect in ruining civil society in Pakistan. Iran has not done any such thing.

kumar Jan 04, 2016 08:25am

@N_Saq Hope so

George Jan 04, 2016 08:25am

@Wollstonecraft Well said

Mirza Jan 04, 2016 08:26am

This was unfortunate but expected. What country lets its people burn down another countries embassy. Why did Iran not provide security to Saudi embassy. Iranians have a history of burning down embassies and taking diplomats as hostages. So far I have not seen any apology from Iran over what happened. I hope sense prevails and they work out something. Diplomatic ties should be restored.

George Jan 04, 2016 08:27am

@Riaz Well said

Fahim Khan Jan 04, 2016 08:29am

Killing innocent political prisoners is NOT Arab issue.

Is Palestine Not an Arab issue for Saudis?

Optimistic Pakistani Jan 04, 2016 08:30am

Iran and KSA both leading ummah towards destruction. Pakistan should stay out of it.... Iran has no right to destroy embassies and is the reason isolated itself from the rest of the world... Bangladesh executed JI leaders any significant protest???

Mirza Jan 04, 2016 08:32am

"Close down Saudi embassy in Pakistan" as a response.

Those are words of wisdom, please also advise about the fate of hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis that work in Saudi for a living and their remittances that helps us to survive. Do we plan of employing them ourselves or our Iranians brothers are offering them jobs?

Zeeshan Jan 04, 2016 08:32am

Iranian government failed in its responsibility to protect the Saudi Embassy from violent protesters but Saudi Arabia step is excessive one.Irianian ambassador in KSA can called for warning before taking this extreme decision.I think Pakistan can play a neutral role if possible through diplomatic channel to solve the issue between two brotherly countries in the best interest of muslim ummah.

Sikander Jan 04, 2016 08:33am

Pakistan should stay far away from this mess created by KSA. The Saudi monarchy it's digging it's own grave.

EXPAT Jan 04, 2016 08:42am

@jazzy Any evidence to prove your point

Shair Khan Jan 04, 2016 08:44am

In regards to the comment:

"Now Pakistan should ties with Saudi Arabia"

It requires leadership and guts

Sajjad Jan 04, 2016 08:49am

I dont understand one thing it was KSA internal matter they executed few guys and by the way that Guy asked outsiders to throw goverment.

KSA responded as per their own law(good or bad) and guy was their natinal, its none of any one business. Then why so much fuss especially from pakistani people why the heck there was a protest in Pakistan we already sent a message to World that we are with Iran. Which is not the case Iran is poking in every business in Iraq, in yemen in syria Bahrain (where they were outsiders and now demanding rulership).

Guys in 2015 there is no thing like friendship between countries or religious sentiments. Its benifit of your people and yes our benifit is with KSA not with Iran. Million of pakistani living and earning and sending back money to Pak and helping mr Dar to make a good budget for you guys :)

The day is not far when Iran will start poking in paksitan matters

Mustafa Jan 04, 2016 08:50am

So this was the point of the coalition Sheikh Nimr? We knew it all along. No, Thank you. Pakistan please stay out. The Nation will never forgive the leaders if they join the coalition.

Mehtab Jan 04, 2016 08:59am

Executing a highest ranking scholar with bunch of murderers is an attempt of deception.

Shaukat Ali Khan Jan 04, 2016 09:01am

Very sad; unending sectarianism. Pakistan must play positive role to defuse it; if unsuccessful, stay out of the crime.

Naveed Jan 04, 2016 09:09am

KSA is heading for civil war.

Abdul Jan 04, 2016 09:09am

@Changez_Khan no tat will be very stupid. Pakistan should just stay out of this mess.

yawar Jan 04, 2016 09:17am

they are fighting each other like husband and wife after 7 years of marriage

Ali Jan 04, 2016 09:18am

@Changez_Khan why?

goodDeedsLeadTo Jan 04, 2016 09:21am

All Muslim countries should shake hands and become friends. Divide we fall and our enemies take advantage, united we stand strong.

Mohammad Farooq Jan 04, 2016 09:30am

Both countries are playing with fire.

Nomi Jan 04, 2016 09:32am

Pakistan should stay neutral and make efforts for bringing both close.

Jaan Bhittani Jan 04, 2016 09:34am

I don't know why we Pakistanis are worried about Saudi-Iran relations. Let them sever or restore ties between them..

Kittu Jan 04, 2016 09:35am

Good for oil price

farah naz Jan 04, 2016 09:35am

Good decision. Iran should learn ethics and tolerance.

Ahmed Haneef Jan 04, 2016 09:36am

The real anger of Al-E-Saud is the changing of street name of Saudi Consulate, new name Khiabaan e Sheikh Nimr" in Tehran

KaKa Jan 04, 2016 09:43am

This is not good happening. These two should stop all this or there will be more arms business for West n Russia and devastation for Muslims.

Engr. khan Jan 04, 2016 09:44am

Iran is directly interfering in Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and this must be checked for peace in the World

saz Jan 04, 2016 09:45am

There is not a single example when Al Saud performed a single act of piety for welfare of poor communities in region including Palestinians. How do they expect they can get control over public with out any pure sacrifice and with out persistent good deeds of kindness. On contrary they are constantly busy in snatching rights, forcefully gaining control over wealth, depriving ordinary people from their lives and honour and imposing their desires over them against their wishes.

Their enemy is their greed, selfishness, injustice and power hungry behaviour and they poisoned their roots themselves. In fact they are digging their grave themselves.

Abu Mohammed Jan 04, 2016 09:50am

Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian was the first Iranian official to react to the severance, stressing that Riyadh ?cannot cover? up its ?big mistake? by cutting ties with Tehran.

Yawar Jan 04, 2016 10:03am

Its really shameful to see how SA and Iran go at each other. And guess who is enjoying this childish behavior the most?

Mohit sharma Jan 04, 2016 10:04am

@yawar experience counts. Good anology.

Tariq Jan 04, 2016 10:08am

I always believe it is the leadership whom people seek guidance. Iran's supreme leadership reaction is a cause of such bizarre action by mob to attack and burnt diplomatic office of KSA.

wiserneighbour Jan 04, 2016 10:12am

Authoritarian regimes will suppress any small dissent with brutal forces.The outcome is lack of human rights.They drag religion into this by employing clerics to justify the brutality. In the garb of sharia and religion,they are decimating opposing voices.Iran is no different though they have namesake democracy.As long as these two play out their religious and political games,a third force will take advantage of the situation. That is what exactly happening in middle east.As long as fossil fuels got a market in this world,middle east going to be in turmoil.

Arun-KS Jan 04, 2016 10:16am

We Indians and Pakistanis are wiser perhaps. In spite of so many differences we seldom snapped our diplomatic ties. May be Iranian troubled KSA, but these diplomatic links facilitate channels for negotiations even after reaching a point of no return.

MNA Jan 04, 2016 10:17am

Remember what the old blind spiritual lady predicted, before her death in 1994, a big war in the Muslim world in 2016!! Also collapse of the European Union. Pakistan please tread very very carefully, and stay out of this mess.

lmk Jan 04, 2016 10:20am

of course, the KSA FM has not made mention of how horrifically it interferes in the internal policies of all its neighbours with terrorism and IS one of the devastating results; but does likewise in afar countries too!! It ought to apply its preachings to itself before setting examples with other nations....

usman Jan 04, 2016 10:23am

Pakistan need to appoint a full Time FOREIGN MINISTER, over and above his/her political affiliation, we have 2 seasoned EX F.M. Mr.Shah Mahmood Qureshi Or Mr. Kasuri could be considered, Dear SHARIF(s) NAWAZ/RAHEEL Please take the initiate against the wind & win the hearts of Pakistanis with a relief.

Ammar Jan 04, 2016 10:24am

Attack on an embassy is deplorable even if it is the embassy of KSA.

I hope our people and leaders don't get carried away by this. It is not our fight. Both Iran and KSA follow their own interests and we have no reason to side with either of them.

Harish Chandra Jan 04, 2016 10:29am

Democratic Saudi Arabia will be the first step towards peace in M E. Once, democracy is achieved in Saudi Arabia; establishing peace In M E will be a "piece of cake."

Rakesh Jan 04, 2016 10:32am

@yawar, they are fighting each other like husband and wife after 7 years of marriage

seems your forgot to buy present for your wife on your 7th marriage anniversary.

Ismail Jan 04, 2016 10:42am

@Changez_Khan Pakistan will severe ties with SA! Are you joking?

Khwarezmi Jan 04, 2016 10:43am

The Saudis made big blunder by executing the Shia leader. Pakistan must NOT take sides in this conflict and do what ever it can to bring Iran and Saudis back from the "war of words".

rehan Jan 04, 2016 10:55am

Iran needs to apologize to KSA .

Realist Jan 04, 2016 10:55am

@Changez_Khan Dream on

Farooq Jan 04, 2016 10:58am

Good decision by KSA. OThers should follow.

Farhan Jan 04, 2016 11:06am

@Cyrus I think you need to say Saudi Arebia is ran by the immigrants and west wheras Iran is ran by Iranians.

Aman Jan 04, 2016 11:08am

There you go always get stuck in between ..US-USSR, India-China, Afghan-Taliban,. .Now Iran-Saudi....

khanm Jan 04, 2016 11:08am

To severe the diplomatic ties at this juncture shows the sign of immaturity..end of the day they have to realize that they are the neighbours and will remain so... if your neighbor house is on fire, help him in putting it out or else there are chances that the fire may engulf your house as well.. Remember ...He who is not just is severe, he who is not wise is sad... Iran ad Saudi Arabia if they to be successful, they really have to put their ego in the background and try to be diplomatic to achieve what they want to achieve.

berni Jan 04, 2016 11:24am

Look who's talking!

A Pakistani Jan 04, 2016 11:24am

This is coming from a Kingdom that is the product of external interference in Arab affairs and one that has constantly interfered in less well-off Muslim countries considering this as its birthright.

Despicable distortion of history!

sarfras Jan 04, 2016 11:37am

@Changez_Khan Or should Pakistan sever ties with Iran? Important point is that Pakistan should maintain a balance in its relationship with both countries. And that is very delicate. Difficult times for Pakistan government.

WAJID Jan 04, 2016 11:43am

What else Saudis can do if one foreign country continues its interference even threatening serious actions and revenge on the execution of Saudi citizens (that too 1 out of 47). Iran should not act like a party or organization, rather act like a country

gerry dcunha Jan 04, 2016 12:22pm

what both countries sore for others now reap for themself - what goes round comes round

T. M. Wazir Jan 04, 2016 12:26pm

@skb....... obviously you didn't get it otherwise, you wouldn't have questioned me? ask someone mature and wiser who can explain it to you. I simply can't explain here.

Stargazer Jan 04, 2016 12:39pm

Desperate move by Saudis. They can clearly see the monarch falling, internal unrest, external threats by monsters of their own making, falling oil prices, rifts within the family.

Skeptic Jan 04, 2016 12:57pm

Saudi power and influence is waning. Now they will further isolate themselves.

With falling prices, budget cuts, large unemployed population means only trouble for the House of Saud.

ali Jan 04, 2016 12:59pm


u r extremely right !

ali Jan 04, 2016 01:01pm

@Harish Chandra Good Joke !!!!!!!!!,

Just analyse Iraq & Libya before and after democracy.

Ashfaq Jan 04, 2016 01:04pm

Nothing but itself a proclamation of weakness and anxiety that Saudese feeling.Setting ablaze diplomatic missions is not permissible same like BEHEADING people for the crimes of expression of dissent and differences.It seems as surrounded by insecurity, by virtue of won policies , the vulnerability of Saudese is beyond imagination right now.Better mend own ways and respect will of people, allow peaceful expression of views and don't BUTCHER people for crimes not more than political opposition

adnan Jan 04, 2016 01:09pm

what is the issue with Iran if Saudia Arabia punishes his own Citizens for any wrong doing?

adnan Jan 04, 2016 01:14pm

@WAJID absolutely!

Uzair Latif Jan 04, 2016 01:15pm

We don't need to take sides. If either is too sour if we keep relations with the other, too bad for them. Their call.

Keti Zilgish Jan 04, 2016 01:20pm

All that Pakistan had to do was to abolish the death penalty and that would have been the proper wake up call for oil-high KSA & Iran. The present situation would not have arrived. Its never too late to learn from ones own mistakes.

saba_aa Jan 04, 2016 01:31pm

@rehan reason? did you suggest the same thing to KSA when lots of people dead during HAJ? and majurity were Iranian. don't be biased. only stand with truth with bothering sect,relegion or country.

Abu Mohammed Jan 04, 2016 01:43pm

Saudi Arabia sees survival in escalating tensions

Parvez Jan 04, 2016 01:44pm

Divide and rule.....guess who'll be laughing.

Waqar Azeem Jan 04, 2016 01:45pm

(1) Pakistan should never be part of any sectarianism based alliance (2) Pakistan should enhance efforts to unite Muslim Ummah without sectarianism (3) Pakistan should never allows its military to intervene in any Muslim country. (4) Consult with neutral countries like Malaysia, Indonesia to formulated coordinates efforts to ease the tension and long term policy formulation.

citizen Jan 04, 2016 02:01pm

@NS : In the interest of Pakisthan, policy to be devised to milk both sides....

Umer Salahuddin Jan 04, 2016 02:15pm

Not understandable why current Saudi government has adopted aggressive policy since came into power first Yemen and now Iran.

Hass Jan 04, 2016 02:19pm

Even tough not a big fan of Saudis but I would not disagree with what KSA foreign Minister has to say about Iran's role being disruptive in Arab World, Iranians still did not get over the fact that Persian Empire is long gone

Rome cruiser Jan 04, 2016 02:21pm

So this is the diplomatic skill of the House of Saud. Pakistan needs to distance itself from the flippant policies of this kid-foreign minister.

Unicorn Jan 04, 2016 02:23pm

Excellent move by KSA.

Asif Jan 04, 2016 02:42pm

Iran is the first country to internationally recognise the sovereign status of Pakistan in August 1947. We never had a harmful relationship with Iran but Saudi Arabia openly funded hundreds and thousands of madrassas here (and elsewhere in the entire world in the tune of $100+ billion over the past 30 years), sowing a venomous ideology that resulted in terrorism and with deaths of thousands of civilians and military men and financial losses and still it is going on here in Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia only helped us when they thought they could get a better return on their investments. They openly bribed our governments (such as $1.5b 'loan' given to Nawaz Sharif gov without any details of the loan terms). They always thought of us as cheap foot soldiers (though we have many that would want to be exactly that). It is not a good relationship for us with these arrogant, self-centered kingdoms and sheikhdoms.

sbk Jan 04, 2016 02:52pm

Honest advice is avoid Saudi and Turkey, who are root cause for all the suffering in the Muslim world.

sbk Jan 04, 2016 02:54pm

Avoid all imports from Saudi, because with every import, they also present the free gifts of extremism and terrorism.

kamran Jan 04, 2016 03:00pm

pakistan stands with saudi...

lafanga Jan 04, 2016 03:02pm

@Mirza "Close down Saudi embassy in Pakistan" as a response.

Why? This is worst than Saudis closing Iranian embassy. What has Saudis done to Pakistan to warrant this action?

Muhammad Junaid Tariq Jan 04, 2016 03:15pm

One country (KSA) executed its own citizen according to its own laws. The other country (Iran) makes fuss about it and violates international norms by attacking the embassy of the first country. A group in the third country (Pak) comes out on streets to protest the execution on the behest of the second country and govt allows it. Wonder what the govt is going to do when the supporters of first country comes out to join the mess. Pak should stop these stooges of Iran and KSA to create problems here.

SRIDHAR RAGHUNATHA RAO Jan 04, 2016 03:16pm

Sheilk Nimr Al Nimr was jailed in Saudi in 2012, sentenced to death in 2014 and executed on 2 nd Jan 2016. Going by these calendar of events, Iran had quite a good length of time at its disposal for securing Sheilk Nimr Al Nimr through any of several diplomatic channels. Flaring up after execution resulted only in getting the relationship strained.

lafanga Jan 04, 2016 03:17pm

Saudis made a mistake by killing the shia cleric who was one of 47 others and majority of the 47 were sunnis. Almost all of them were Saudi citizens. Perhaps they could have jailed him. To make matters worst, Iranian govt let the mob attack the Saudi embassy which is a big no no in international diplomacy. Iran could have asked the Saudi ambassador to leave but attacking and burning the embassy is adding a huge barrel of oil to a small fire.

Pakistan needs to tread very carefully but if Pakistan's back is pushed against the wall and a decision must be made then Pakistan should stand with the Saudis and not Iran. It's not about Sunni vs Shia but more to do with Pakistan's own national interest.

Sameer Khalid Jan 04, 2016 03:31pm

Pakistan should just simply stay out of this.

raza Jan 04, 2016 03:51pm

Not supporting palestine, muslims in egypt, Killing people in YEMEN with all out war on civilians and having close ties with USA, Israel. Saudi Arabia is going all wrong.

kazim Jan 04, 2016 03:53pm

What Saudis are doing in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain is negative interference. Iran's role is of leadership and honor. Saudis are no match to Iran's balanced policies.

Islam Jan 04, 2016 03:54pm

Iranian President and Foreign Office has condemned the act of arson and their interior ministry has arrested around 40 persons for entering Saudi Consulate but on the other hand despite international condemnation Saudis have not yet apologized and showed any remorse for their unjust killing of such a high ranking Shia Cleric who was peacefully leading the movement for equal rights for his oppressed Shia community. Saudis have played havoc with the Muslims in the region through their proxies ISIS Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra etc in Syria, Libya and Iraq and also directly bombing innocent Yemeni people. Saudi aggression against the fellow Muslims left it isolated in civilized world therefore they are badly nervous

ENGR. KHAN Jan 04, 2016 03:58pm

@Mustafa :By doing such acts Iran is asking for their embassies across the world to be attacked.

Abbas naqvi Jan 04, 2016 04:14pm

Can Pakistan play any role in diffusing the situation given its friendly ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia? I believe it can and should.

M. Saeed Awan Jan 04, 2016 04:32pm

@Changez_Khan Why not Iran?

Adnan Mazher Khan Jan 04, 2016 04:50pm

Can our government do us a favour by keeping itself neutral. We don't to end up in trouble by siding with someone.

VOICE OF SANITY Jan 04, 2016 04:50pm

I dont understand why our Pakistani friends are supporting Iran in that issue and asking Pakistan not to involve in it. Tell me, out of 47 death,4 were shias, rest were sunnis and 99% were Saudian and no one was Iranian. If Shikh Nimr was innocent then may be some other sunni fellow was also innocent. Iran should behave gracefully and should not stock sectarian divide otherwise it will also fell pray to it as it has large sunni population which can be exploited by others. Iran is also notorious for hanging people in large numbers and many were Sunnis, but no Sunni country has raise voice in this regard.

Ahmed Haneef Jan 04, 2016 04:58pm

@ENGR. KHAN .. It was not Iran but an angry crowd, Iranian police has arrested 40 people.

Khan Jan 04, 2016 05:12pm

@Changez_Khan Why?? I think Pakistan should sever ties with Iran

My Analysis Jan 04, 2016 05:19pm

I am not anti Saudia or pro-Iran but strategically if we analyze the situation in context of Pakistan-Saudia Vs Pakistan-Iran relations then we got to realize that we are sharing a long border with Iran and unnecessary involvement in Iran-Saudia issue might be disturbing for us where at two sides of border with India and Afghanistan we are already facing animosity so we are not in a position to take a side of KSA in this conflict while on other side KSA has already made us part of the coalition irrespective of Pakistan's willingness or unwillingness hence we could not ditch them also by keeping ourselves aside of them. The only way is the mediation that Pakistan could and should do between the two rivals, bring them on the table by keeping itself neutral and try to defuse the situation as the rift between the two giants of Islamic world will further disintegrate the Muslims world wide and allow foreign forces to intervene easily in the affairs of Islamic world. Surely undesirable.

Timeto stopthis Jan 04, 2016 05:25pm

@Taimoor khan No you are right. It is part of a mess created by its own past rulers, civil and military.

sampsonchas Jan 04, 2016 05:58pm

@Adeel it means nothing here...who cares what they do. are you in Iran? NO

sampsonchas Jan 04, 2016 05:59pm

@Shaukat Ali Khan stay out of it ? why do you work with it? talk is cheap

IJLAL Jan 04, 2016 06:01pm

May both SAUDIA ARABIA and IRAN be blessed with the wisdom to ponder who is the real beneficiary of their split? Open the eyes two real friends of us,please.

United we stand, divided.... need not to mention.

sbk Jan 04, 2016 06:21pm

When you realize that the friend is not good, move away from him.

Engr. khan Jan 04, 2016 06:59pm

@Changez_Khan : Pakistan enjoys excellent ties with Saudi Arabia compared to Iran

Zulfiqar Jan 04, 2016 07:07pm

Pakistan Government has the ability to reduce the tension between Iran and KSA...

Alethia Jan 04, 2016 07:16pm

Pakistan must stay absolutely neutral.

Friendship with both Saudi Arabia and Iran...

Qamar Malik Jan 04, 2016 07:24pm

Execution of terrorist is important .. Otherwise Saudi Arabia would become like Pakistan .. Blasts uncontrollable ... Iran should not .. No one should interfere Saudi Arabia's internal matters .... If Iran was concerned they should have got lawyers to fight the case ... Coz wen u live in a country u live by its laws

sajid Jan 04, 2016 07:29pm

Here we go, Now the Muslims live in EU and other countries have to face fundamentalists because we have fighting with each other...

Zak Jan 04, 2016 07:40pm

Pakistan is a regional power. We should have a Foreign minister. We should be taking charge and bringing both parties to ISLAMABAD and getting them to stop rising tensions and conflict. Pakistan is a strong powerful country with pathetically weak leadership, devoid of vision and responsibility.

G.A.SIAL Jan 04, 2016 07:47pm

battle is not good for any country...either for Iran or Saudi Arabia. Economically, last year's oil prices fall have affected them worsely. Now, they are preparing for a war, it will only drag both countries down.

Pakistan should stay away from any biased support. It will be better for Pakistani nation.

bkt Jan 04, 2016 08:09pm

Oil prices up! And the only sane Muslim power in the whole Ummah is once again Pakistan! Lead to independence and created by a Shia leader followed by hundreds of millions of Sunnis. We are exactly what neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia want. Pakistanis Sunnis and Shias beware of these mad countries who want Sunnis and Shias to fight. Be Pakistani! Go work in Saudi Arabia and Iran!

Kabeer Jan 04, 2016 08:16pm

@Qamar Malik Please first get complete information on the subject then comment Sheikh Nimr was not a terrorists even Saudi regime did not call him terrorist or charge him on terror account his crime was that he was vocal critic of regime of al e saud

Qamar Jan 04, 2016 08:20pm

Saudi Arabia is adding fuel to the fire that is already engulfing the Middle East. Pakistan MUST stay neutral. Saudis are using their wealth to pit Sunni vs. Shia. This is deplorable.

Baaligh Jan 04, 2016 08:23pm

@jazzy : No,not true at all. In fact since the Islamic revolution of 1979 Iran has always, repeat always advocated for unity among all sects.

Abdul malik Jan 04, 2016 08:26pm

alas! The saudi and Irani Govts have come before each other. They should desist to go further otherwise the fire stoke by them will engulf the every house of Muslim World .

Ghaznavi Jan 04, 2016 08:27pm

Pakistan must play its role in deescalating these tensions. It is in our interest to double up diplomatic efforts with goal for an OIC summit. Unless all parties agree to sit down and talk, this issue will continue to slide in a direction that could eventually harm our national interest or worst pull us in.

shahid Jan 04, 2016 08:45pm

All other Islamic countries must stay away from Saudi and Iran.

Tapish Jan 04, 2016 08:54pm

Pakistan should ally with KSA as the relation has been more beneficial.The Shias will try to disrupt the CPEC project ,no matter what the relation status is.It will also rebuild the troubled relation with good friends UAE and KSA.

N H RANA Jan 04, 2016 09:26pm

@zain khan :Last option is the wise one and should taken for the best interest of Pakistan for only Pakistan.

Amin Jan 04, 2016 09:32pm

Would Iran tolerate anyone criticising it for executing its own subjects as per its laws? Would Iran tolerate its embassy being attacked in KSA? Food for thought.

Ahmed Haneef Jan 04, 2016 09:45pm

A video message of Daughter of late king Abdullah is being circulated recorded after death of Sheikh Nimr. She is calling him a leader of both Shia and Sunnis. Sheikh Nimr was voice of Saudis not Shias only.

Tariq Jan 04, 2016 10:02pm

Pakistan should truly stay away from this mess. Definitely, we don't want a Shia Sunni divide here. Please let us coexist peacefully. KSA should show restraint and Iran should realize that KSA also executed 43 Sunni jihadists! Only 4 were Shias! Hoping for a peaceful resolution!

omer khan shaheen Jan 04, 2016 10:53pm

The only role for Pakistan today, should be that of a "Peace Maker".

Mature Pakistani Jan 04, 2016 11:31pm

Pakistan should act as a mediator to ease tension. First they visit one and then another country.

Observer1 Jan 04, 2016 11:35pm

@skb 44 were terrorist, and this Ayatullah was no criminal . He just spoke against the Terror of house of Saud, thats all, that why we are talking about 3 and not 44 terrorist. Kapish

Mostafizur Rahman Jan 04, 2016 11:37pm

Pakistan shouldn't involve this controversial issues. But we can only try to alleviate the tension if needed

Raja Hammad Jan 04, 2016 11:46pm

I highly advise anyone to visit Iran, and then visit Saudi as well afterwards. The treatment dished out could not be any more different.

Saudi's treat others as second class human beings while in reality it is them who are because of their insecurity.

Faizan Jan 05, 2016 12:19am

Iran and saudia have been at loggerheads for a long time now. The wise thing to do for Pakistan would be not to involve in it as the executions are internal saudi matter. However Iran has again set the wrong precedent via the arson attack on the embassy which isn't the first of its kind on foreign missions. Iran has definitely added fuel to fire as the execution is an internal matter and the extreme step can further aggravate the tensions in an already volatile region as a verbal condemnation would have sufficed.

MaKeinINDIA Jan 05, 2016 12:30am

Iran has Rightly said-: "One is White-ISIS & Other is Black ISIS" NO difference. They all are the same people-Following the world's Last founded (just 1400 years back) Religion as called military religion Islam Not social religion & SA is supporting Terrorism for their own politics since 632.

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Jan 05, 2016 01:43am

Too little, too late.

Vaq Jan 05, 2016 03:01am

Its all a game. All is done to drive up the oil price. Both countries running deficit with current market price. Once it touches 100 dollars all will be forgiven and forgotten from both sides.

Vijay Jan 05, 2016 03:23am

@Mature Pakistani Stay out of it.

nadeem Jan 05, 2016 03:25am

KSA executed a high ranking cleric that only called for democratic elections. how one earth this become a crime? KSA could have avoided the conflict by just keeping him in prison and not execute him.

samina Jan 05, 2016 03:27am

No need to take sides here. Clergy in Iran and kings in KSA will do anything to maintain the grip on the power. Their self righteousness and tightly control regimes will bring them down one day, what is happening now is the beginning of the end to this madness.

Ayub Jan 05, 2016 05:23am

Both countries should exercise restraint otherwise it would inflict a sever blow to the unity of Muslim Ummah.

Sunni&Shiafight Jan 05, 2016 05:52am

When Sunni and Shai fight for 'world dominance' we all suffer.

zq Jan 05, 2016 06:32am

Saudi Arabia made a huge mistake, They should have first given diplomacy a chance and as Arabs are known for first taking action and then asking questions it shows the thought process of these ignorant Arabs..

I am not the supporter of Iranians but I do support the human rights and Saudi Arabia made a drastic mistake and somehow they should pay for this…. Pakistan should mediate and try to bring them to senses.

Sunni&Shiafight Jan 05, 2016 06:37am

@Jehanzeb Idrees ; It comes with the package!

Sunni&Shiafight Jan 05, 2016 06:54am

@sarfras : Just side with the one with the most wealth and power and the one with total control of Makkah and Medina! Not that hard huh?

NASR Jan 05, 2016 07:00am

As it has to happen. The Doomsday for the Middle East and adjacent areas is getting nearer. After all the steep fall in which we the Muslims are in is yet to finish. And it will finish when only one sect of the Muslim world will remain in this world. God knows the best.

NASR Jan 05, 2016 07:08am

Remember the war will be between 85% vs 15%

NASR Jan 05, 2016 07:12am

@hamid And the Eyes of the outsideworld are on both of the oil. Just waiting for one opportunity to pounce.

Zia Jan 05, 2016 07:17am

worse days coming for gulf countries / middle east. Fools and their money can not stay together for long.

Ayub Jan 05, 2016 07:20am

Saudi Arab went frenzy after suffering failure in toppling Bashar- ul- Asad. They are holding Iran responsible for their failure. The Persian-Arab rivalry is not new but it belongs to remote history. Both are bestowed with oil wealth. Both are following extreme version of opposing Islamic sects. They have always been in struggle to expand their influence and dominate the region. Pakistanis have always served as their domestic servants. Neither of them is willing to accept Pakistani as equal Muslim. They treat them as inferior to them in all respect. They have sufficient surplus revenue generated through sale of oil. They are stupid and can not tolerate wealth. So, let them drain their wealth.

Abdul Jan 05, 2016 07:22am

Iran must avoid to secure its lost seat of sassaniand imperialism in the middle east

Adeel Jan 05, 2016 07:24am

If Sunnis and Shias can't work together and resolve anything as two Muslim brothers then how can Muslims from Pakistan and Hindus from India work to resolve anything as so called two long lost brothers from the same India that was ruled by the Brits for 150+ years and both Hindus and Muslims fought together to get independence?

Kabeer Jan 05, 2016 09:00pm

@Adeel This is not a sunni and shia conflict this is an Arab and Ajam conflict we sunnis and shias are living happily together in almost everywhere in world

Hassan Jan 06, 2016 12:33am

This will benefit DAESH and their supporters.