Iranian Accused of Spying in S. Arabia

Iranian Accused of Spying in S. ArabiaIranian Accused of Spying in S. Arabia

Saudi Arabia has put 32 people on trial, including an Iranian, accused of spying for Iran.

The 32, including 30 members of Shia Muslim minority in Saudi Arabia, were detained in 2013 sparking expressions of concern among Saudi Shias who said several were well-known figures in their community and not involved in politics, Reuters reported on Monday. The trial is the first in recent memory for Saudis accused of spying and may stoke tensions between local Shia and Sunni Muslims and with Iran, which strongly denied the accusations at the time. Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia escalated further in January when Riyadh broke off diplomatic ties following the storming of its Tehran embassy by protesters angered at Saudi Arabia’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Riyadh’s Bureau of Public Prosecution presented the charges against the 32 on Sunday at the Specialized Criminal Court, which tries security offences.