Iran and Saudi Arabia - level 3

Iran and Saudi Arabia - level 3

07-01-2016 07:00

A diplomatic row between Saudi Arabia and Iran has continued to escalate, following Riyadh's execution of the prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Saudi Arabia says it severed ties with Iran after its embassy in Tehran was attacked by protesters, forcing the evacuation of Saudi diplomats seen here arriving in Dubai on route home. In response, Iranian diplomats in Saudi Arabia have been given 48 hours to leave the country.

Iran, which is predominantly Shia, had heavily criticized the Sunni-ruled kingdom over the killing with its supreme leader saying Saudi politicians will face to find vengeance. The United States has appealed for calm as demonstrations spread to other countries, including Turkey, Pakistan, India and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia executed Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others after they were convicted of terror-related offences.

Difficult words: row (an argument), escalate (to get worse and worse), Shiite (part of the Shia branch of Islam), cleric (a priest or religious leader), sheikh (an Arab leader), sever (to cut), predominantly (mostly), Shia (one of the two main branches of Islam, followed by about a tenth of Muslims, especially in Iran), Sunni (the other orthodox branch of Islam), supreme (the highest in authority), vengeance (revenge, punishment), appeal (to ask).


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