Sudan expels Iranian ambassador

Khartoum, Jan 4 (IANS) Sudan on Monday expelled the Iranian ambassador, hours after Bahrain cut its ties with Tehran amid outrage over the Saudi execution of a Shia cleric.

The Saudi side was informed of the decision in a phone call from Sudan’s Minister of State and Director of the President’s Office Taha Osman al-Hussein with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defence Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sudan also decided to expel the whole Iranian diplomatic mission and withdraw its envoy from Tehran.

In the call, the Sudanese official stressed his country’s condemnation of the Iranian interference in the Arab region and inaction to protect the Saudi Embassy and Consulate in Iran.

Sudan’s decision to cut the relations with Iran was preceded by a similar action from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia cut off its diplomatic relations with Iran after angry protesters stormed its embassy in Tehran to protest at the execution of prominent Shiia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

On Saturday, the Saudi interior ministry announced that al-Nimr and 46 other men were executed on January 1 over terror charges. Most of the executed were Saudis who were involved in a series of attacks carried out by Al Qaeda from 2003-06.

Nimr was seen as a driving force behind anti-government protests that broke out in the country in 2011.

Earlier on Monday, Bahrain announced it was severing diplomatic ties with Tehran.

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