Iran social talk: selfie controversy amid Saudi embassy break-in
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 6
By Farhad Daneshvar - Trend:
A protester is taking a selfie, with fully-equipped riot police officers behind him. This photo, shot outside the Saudi Arabia embassy in Tehran, does speak a thousand words, as they say.
Following the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia after the latter executed a prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, Iranians took it to the social media channels, slamming the hard-line protesters for storming the Saudi Arabia's embassy, mentioning the selfies taken both before and after the breaking into the embassy.
Reacting to al-Nimr's execution, a group of hard-line Iranians stormed Saudi embassy in Tehran, smashing furniture and setting fire to the building before being dispersed by police.
Officially, Iran expressed strong protest regarding the execution, and the fragile relations between the two countries started going even further downhill from there. Meanwhile, a considerable amount of Iranian social media users, along with some officials, have condemned the break into the embassy.
"It is barbaric to organize a group of people to set fire to an embassy's building. It is sillier when they take selfies during the attack," An Iranian journalist wrote on his Twitter account and shared pictures of those who stormed the embassy. One of the selfies depicts a man who holds a telephone apparently stolen from the embassy.
Saying that storming the embassy is unjustified in any way, An Iranian user criticized the attackers and said that such "silly" behavior would fan the flames of wars.
Another user believes that some people were mad at Saudi Arabia because of the Mina stampede incident where dozens of Iranian pilgrims were killed as well as an alleged sexual harassment of two Iranian young boys by Saudi airport police officers.
She suggested that the attack on the Saudi embassy was aimed at revenging the Mina Incident and the harassment issue. She said that "the execution of al-Nimr was just an excuse."
Another user said that Saudi Arabia should praise those hardliners who stormed the embassy as the world now is discussing the embassy issue instead of Nimr al-Nimr's execution.
"If I were in Saudi Arabia's shoes, I would reward those hardliners who stormed the embassy," she said.
Meanwhile, some Iranian users have backed the Saudi decision on execution of the cleric.
"It is Saudi judiciary's right to issue a verdict and execute a convict who was charged with instigating unrest. Is it Iran's business? Do they question Iran's decisions to execute convicts?" A Twitter user said.
Another user went as far as saying that Iran will have to pay compensation for storming the embassy.
In any case, the issue with the execution and the rising tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have touched the already unstable region, and it is unlikely that the two rivaling Muslim powers will reconcile any time soon.