Saudi to pay ‘high price’ for executing Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr: Iran

Nimr, 56, was a driving force of the protests that broke out in 2011 in Eastern Province, where the Shiite minority of Saudi Arabia complains of marginalisation.

By: AFP | Tehran | Updated: January 2, 2016 6:26 pm
saudi shi'ite, saudi shi'ite cleric, sheikh nimr al nimr, brother of executed shi'ite, sheikh Nimr al Nimr brother, ISIS, peaceful killing, world news FILE -A Bahraini anti-government protester holds up a picture of jailed Saudi Sheik Nimr al-Nimr during clashes with riot police in Sanabis.(Source: AP photo)

Saudi Arabia will pay “a high price” for executing prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday, Iran’s foreign ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari strongly condemned the execution, which came after his Shiite country repeatedly asked its Sunni-ruled rival to pardon the cleric.

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“The Saudi government supports terrorist movements and extremists, but confronts domestic critics with oppression and execution… the Saudi government will pay a high price for following these policies,” he said, quoted by the official IRNA news agency.

Nimr, 56, was a driving force of the protests that broke out in 2011 in Eastern Province, where the Shiite minority of Saudi Arabia complains of marginalisation.

Read | Brother of executed Shi’ite cleric hopes any reaction to killing will be peaceful 

“The execution of a figure like Sheikh al-Nimr, who had no means to follow his political and religious goals but through speaking out, merely shows the extent of irresponsibility and imprudence,” said Ansari.

Read | Iranian cleric predicts fall of Saudi government over Nimr execution

For its part, the Basij student militia connected to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards called for a demonstration on Sunday afternoon in front of the Saudi embassy in Tehran.