Khamenei calls Nimr a “martyr” as Tehran protesters storm Saudi embassy
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed in Saudi Arabia along with 46 others for terrorism offences, a “martyr” and warned he Saudis they would face “divine revenge.” Protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran late Saturday, set fire to the building and damaged property before they were driven back by the police. Khamenei said the cleric had been executed unfairly for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s Sunni rulers and denied he was involved in covert plots or armed movements.
Rage over the execution has spread among Shiite communities in the Middle East. US state department spokesman John Kirby appealed to Saudis to respect and protect human rights, and urged other leaders in the region to reduce regional tensions.
As demonstrations against the execution started in the Lebanese capital, the Saudi embassy in Beirut boosted its security and instructed its staff not to leave the compound, reports said.