Yesterday was the “Friday of Remorse” in Iran; remorse for last Sunday’s attacks on the Saudi embassy and consulate in Tehran and Mashhad respectively. The attacks have been denounced by the Arab, Muslim and international community.
The lecturer of the Tehran Friday sermon Emami-Kashani considered the attacks “treason”, accused “embedded proxies” of being behind the attacks and described the attackers as “ignoramuses and criminals”. Kashani also pointed out that his country in all of its “essence, glory, and power” had had its image tarnished.
On the other hand, a day after the Iranian Supreme Leader’s Representative in Mashhad Ahmad Alamolhoda denounced the attackers as “extremists”, “militants” and “violators of the law”; he yesterday went back to saying that the attacks are harming the “interests of the regime”.
In a related development, the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) reported on Thursday that Sifr Ali Pratlo, a security official in Tehran was dismissed due to the attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy.
Coincidentally, Turkish-Iranian relations are also tense after Iranian media directed harsh criticism at the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for condemning the attacks on the Saudi embassy. An official Turkish source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the government has advised Iran that it is not in Tehran’s interests to be hostile towards Turkey and Saudi Arabia if it wants stability in the region.
Ankara yesterday announced that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded to meet the Iranian ambassador in protest of the Iranian media associating President Erdoğan’s last visit to Saudi Arabia with the executions. However, Iran denied this stating that its ambassador was the one to request the meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to explain Iran’s stance.
Furthermore, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement requesting the Iranian ambassador to ask his country to stop spreading the news that the Iranian media published which links the Turkish president’s visit to Saudi Arabia last December to the official executions.
On the other hand, a well-informed Palestinian Source revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that Iran is trying to polarize Hamas in order to support its position against Saudi Arabia in exchange for financial support. The source added that several meetings were held between Iranian and Hamas officials over the course of the last two weeks in order to achieve an understanding on the matter.