Iran reveals verdicts of attackers of Saudi embassy

Iran reveals verdicts of attackers of Saudi embassy

Tehran, Iran, Nov. 2

By Mehdi Sepahvand – Trend:

The details of court sentences for 20 people who acted as leaders of an assault on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January have been disclosed.

All the suspects were acquitted of charges of sabotage, their lawyer Mostafa Shabani said, ILNA news agency reported November 2.

He explained that the total number of suspects of the case was 45, but said 25 of them are being tried at a clerical court and the rest in a government employees court, for whom he is the lawyer.

According to the lawyer, Saudi Arabia had not filed suit against the suspects for any sabotage, which provided the ground for their exoneration.

“All of the 20 were Basij members who had been in the [Iraqi-imposed war] front or in Syria, and were angry with the execution of Sheik Nimr al-Nimr,” the lawyer stated.

However, he said, the court sentenced some of them to 91 days to six months in prison for disturbing public order.

“One of my clients with the initials M.A. has been sentenced to 6 months for having led the assault, but he had not even approached the embassy,” Shabani said elsewhere. “We will plea against the sentences, because I do not consider my clients having earned them… They have all told the court that the police did not prevent them from rallying.”

He went on to say that the verdicts have not been communicated to the convicts yet, adding that they will have 20 days for plea after the communication.

On November 1 the court issued the verdicts, but did not disclose the details.

Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with Iran after protesters stormed the kingdom's embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad on January 2 in response to Riyadh's execution of a prominent Saudi Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

The Iranian government condemned the assault and President Hassan Rouhani, keen to improve Tehran's long-strained relations with its neighbors and the West, asked the judiciary to punish the protesters and prevent further attacks.

Iran's judiciary announced in April that more than 100 suspects had been arrested over the attack on the Saudi missions and 48 were charged. All were released on bail.

Iran’s trial of the Saudi embassy attackers comes amid Tehran’s call on Riyadh to hold court sessions for those responsible for the death of some hundred Iranians, among many more internationals, in a vast stampede during the 2015 Hajj season in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

According to a count by the Associated Press, more than 2,400 people, including at least 460 Iranian pilgrims, lost their lives in the incident on September 24, 2015. Iran had the highest confirmed death toll among foreign nationals in the Mina stampede. Saudi Arabia claims that nearly 770 people had been killed in the incident. Iran says the total death toll from the tragedy stands at over 7,000.

Riyadh has so far refrained from taking any legal action or investigation as to who is responsible for the incident that took many Muslim lives on a single day.

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