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Iran: Saudi Arabia executed our citizens for political reasons

Iran Materials 21 June 2012 14:21 (UTC +04:00)
At a news conference in the city of Qom, a centre of Shiite theology, Iran’s deputy foreign minister accused Saudi Arabia of executing Iranians for political reasons and lying to Iranian officials
Iran: Saudi Arabia executed our citizens for political reasons

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 21/Trend M. Moezzi/

At a news conference in the city of Qom, a centre of Shiite theology, Iran's deputy foreign minister accused Saudi Arabia of executing Iranians for political reasons and lying to Iranian officials.

During his remarks on Wednesday afternoon, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said that while no Iranian citizen had been sentenced to death in Persian Gulf countries over the last four decades, 18 had been executed by Saudi Arabia in recent weeks Mehr news agency reports

Mr Amir-Abdollahian, pointed to the timing of the executions as proof that they were political. The first group of Iranians was put to death in April on the first day of Iran's nuclear talks with the 5+1 group (the permanent members of the UN Security Council-the U.S., Britain, France, Russia and China) plus Germany. The second group was put to death during the late May round of nuclear negotiations in Baghdad.

When he met with Iran's Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, the Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal promised to delay the Iranians' executions so the two countries could hold talks about them. That was a lie and in fact a group of Iranians were put to death on the same day Mr Al Faisal made his promise to Mr Salehi, contended Mr Mir-Abdollahian who serves as Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs.

Charges that the Iranians were smuggling two tons of drugs into the Kingdom have not been confirmed or proven to Iran and the accused were never given a chance to defend themselves.

Iran has taken a series of steps to show its displeasure with Saudi Arabia's actions.

The Saudi Charge d'affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry and given a memorandum seeking answers on the matter.

Last week Iran didn't send a delegation to the ceremonies marking the death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud and instructed its ambassador to attend just one event discreetly.

Mr Amir-Abdollahian's scheduled meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal was also cancelled. The deputy foreign minister was to deliver President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's letter inviting Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to attend the Tehran gathering of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) nations' heads.

The head of Iran's Haj Organisation has also cancelled his upcoming trip to the Kingdom.

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