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Iranian Diplomat: Sectarian Motives behind Attacking the Saudi Embassy | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises as Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran on Jan 3

London- Iranian officials reopened the assault case on the two Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad, which took place earlier this year. The subject was stirred up days after Iran took a shot on politicizing Hajj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia). The Iranian government, in its own conclusion, took upon itself to boycott this year’s Muslim pilgrimage.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s cultural advisor Hossam Eddin Ashna, in an interview with political magazine“’Andishe Buea”, pointed out that the Iranian government, concerning the attack case, plans on dismissing another score of security officials. Neglect being the charge here.

He also pointed out that the decision, officially issued, will be implemented when time is convenient. Iranian Deputy Chief Justice and judiciary spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i had already mentioned 48 people accused suspects.

Before Riyadh severed diplomatic ties with Tehran, Iranian ambassador to Saudi Arabia Hossein Saddiqi said in an interview circulated by Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) that motives behind the assault have proven to be sectarian based.

He highlighted the short coming of security forces, despite the Iranian embassy in Saudi Arabia, on different occasions, requesting protection and ensuring the security of Saudi embassies in Iran.

In an undertone, Sadiqqi criticized all narratives made and circulated by Iranian media on his delegation being mistreated just before leaving Riyadh. He described them as mere hypotheses.

The former Iranian ambassador denied all rumors on Saudi Arabia refusing to grant access to an Iranian plane, which was sent to fly back the mission after their dismissal from the country.

Sadiqqi carried on saying that Iranians do not have a realistic view of Saudi Arabia. Their preview it is majorly a biased one, he said.

In the interview, the Iranian ambassador revealed details on the Iranian mission in Saudi Arabia being dismissed, in addition to exposing many facts on current regional circumstances. Saddiqi also highlighted the necessity of intercommunication between the two countries.

He also indirectly criticized statements made by Iranian officials that eventually stirred up the crowd and led to the assault on Saudi diplomatic centers in Iran. As for the Saudi decision cutting ties with Iran, Sadiqqi described them as rash.

He explained that, should the ties had not been cut, the two countries would have been capable of accomplishing great work in both regional and international affairs.

Hundreds of Basij members, a paramilitary volunteer militia established in 1979 by order of the Iranian Revolution’s leader Ayatollah Khomeini, last January had attacked the Saudi embassy building in Tehran and Mashhad, setting them both on fire.

The assault was a red line crossed, which lead to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s direct decision on cutting diplomatic ties with Iran and sending the Iranian diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia back home.

The assault was internationally denounced, as multiple Arab countries withdrew their ambassadors from Tehran in a condemning gesture to what had happened.

Saddiqi expressed his disappointment with the poor security measures officials in Tehran have employed to protect the embassy, despite the many precautionary warnings they had received. “It was not enough to protect the embassy,” said Saddiqi.