Iran begins trial for 21 linked to storming of Saudi posts

AP News
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Posted: Jul 18, 2016 4:15 AM

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran began a closed trial on Monday for 21 suspects in the storming of Saudi diplomatic missions earlier this year, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

The report did not provide further details about the hearing, the first of its kind to be held in the case.

Protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and a consulate in Mashhad in January after Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric and dissident. Iran views itself as the defender of the world's Shiites.

The attacks on the diplomatic missions led to the severing of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, regional rivals that back opposite sides in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

Last month Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for "transparency" in the trial and reiterated earlier remarks that the attack went against Iranian laws. In April, Iran said 48 people, including four clerics, would be tried in relation to the storming of the diplomatic missions.