Tehran (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Qatar has decided to withdraw its ambassador from Iran, joining Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Sudan who have already broken off diplomatic relations in recent days. The decision is the result of Iranian protesters assault on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashad, triggered by Riyadh’s execution of 47 "terrorists", including the Shia al-Nimr Nimr, at the beginning of the New Year.
Yesterday, meanwhile, Djibouti also cut relations with Iran and Jordan summoned its ambassador to Tehran to Amman for an official protest against the assault.
In the past, Qatar has repeatedly clashed with Saudi Arabia for supporting various rebel groups in Syria and the different position with respect to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. However, in recent times there has been a rapprochement between the parties, as seen in Qatar’s joining the Saudi-led Arab coalition that operates in Yemen against Houthi Shiite rebels.
Qatar’s Foreign Ministry has called the embassy attack a "violation of international standards, which ensure the safety and security of diplomatic missions and their members."
Also yesterday, Iraq offered to mediate between the parties to mend the breach. Earlier, Russia also said it was ready to mediate. Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, who is in Tehran, met his counterpart Javad Zarif and said that an escalation of tension between Iran (Shiite) and Saudi Arabia (Sunni) could have serious consequences throughout the region. The United Nations have turned to both parties, asking them to calm tensions.
Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has sent a personal letter to the Chief Justice, requesting an extensive and rapid investigation into 50 suspects of involvement in various capacities in the attack on the Saudi embassy. The letter directed to Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, who heads the Iranian judicial system, was also published on Rouhani’s personal website.
The head of state calls for an immediate trial against the alleged perpetrators of the assault on the Saudi diplomatic missions, a gesture that is "insulting to the authorities" of the State.
Rouhani, a moderate elected in 2013, has called the incidents "totally unjustifiable". He has been followed by other dignitaries and other officials that violence had damaged the image of Iran.