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Iran Exonerates Suspects in Attack at Saudi Embassy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises from Saudi Arabia’s embassy during a demonstration in Tehran. (Reuters)

London – By exonerating the persons who attacked and sabotaged the Saudi embassy in Iran, Tehran recanted committing to the international laws to hold the suspects accountable for their actions.

Lawyer Mostafa Shaabani said that all the suspects were acquitted of charges of “deliberate sabotage of the Saudi Embassy”, ILNA news agency reported.

Shaabani explained that the total number of suspects of the case was 45, but 25 of them are being tried at a clerical court and the rest at an administrative court, for whom he is the lawyer.

Administrative courts in Iran specialize in cases of government employees.

According to the lawyer, the court acquitted all suspects because Saudi Arabia had not filed suit against the suspects for any sabotage, which provided the ground for their exoneration.

In July, Judiciary Spokesman Mohseni Ejei expressed Iran’s intentions to reduce the penalties of the miscreants who attacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad.

He explained that charges of threatening national security will be replaced by charges of sabotaging funds of the Saudi embassy and disturbing public order.

President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly called for those implicated in the attack to be “brought to justice” in a transparent trial. President Rouhani had described the attack was a threat to the national security.

Twenty days following the attack, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei condemned it saying as “a very bad and wrong incident”. However, Khamenei condemned describing the attackers as extremists, something many defined as Khamenei’s indirect support for the attackers.

In August, Hussein Kord Mihin, the mastermind of the attack, sent an open letter to President Rouhani saying that: “The government is clearly a partner in crime; it could have prevented the attack if it wished to do so. The attackers even expected some form of resistance, to be beaten up and stopped.”

According to a letter published on Insaf news website, Mihin admitted to issuing orders to his followers through his channel on the Telegram app when he was in the battlefield fronts of the Revolutionary Guards in Syria fighting the opposition.

Two weeks after the attack, Iran had arrested Mihin in a foreign country. It turned out that he was fighting in Syria. He is on trial along with 20 other clerics for participating in the attack.

“All of the 20 were Basij members who had been in the front or in Syria,” the lawyer stated.
Shaabani’s statement indicates the involvement of the Iranian government in sending fighters and troops including Revolutionary Guard to Syria.

The Mizan news agency quoted a judge as saying that the verdicts for 20 defendants had been issued and “will be announced soon.” He did not give the names of the 20 and did not say whether they had been convicted or not.

However, Shaabani said, the court sentenced some of suspects to 91 days to six months in prison for disturbing public order, while others were declared innocents.

The lawyer also added: “We will plea against the sentences, because I do not consider my clients having earned them… They have all told the court that the police did not prevent them from rallying,” explaining that he has 20 days for plea.