MPs Want Strong Verdict Against Saudi Mission Attackers

MPs Want Strong Verdict Against Saudi Mission Attackers MPs Want Strong Verdict Against Saudi Mission Attackers

A lawmaker said he hopes severe sentences will be given out to attackers on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, which would help prevent a repetition of such unacceptable incidents in the future.  

Heshmatollah Falahatpishe, a principlist legislator, made the statement referring to a recent announcement by the judiciary that the case of the January attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran will be heard in court next month.  

The lawmaker told ICANA on Saturday that the court should pass a preventive verdict on the irrational move that in fact helped Saudis divert attention from their wrongdoing in last year's hajj disaster in Mina and sway international public opinion in their favor.  

"It is expected that the court ruling will be [harsh enough to produce] deterrent effects, so we never again see such incidents which weaken our position in the international arena."  

The attackers were angered over the execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which provoked international condemnation.

Although Iranian authorities condemned the attack and called for the prosecution of perpetrators, the Saudi regime used (abused) the incident to cut already strained diplomatic relations with Iran.

Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said last week that those accused of involvement in the attack will appear in court on July 18.

He had previously said 48 people have been indicted in the case, of which three to four are clerics who will be tried in the separate Special Clerical Court.

  Reviving Iran's Image

Another parliamentarian, Ardeshir Nourian, said he expects fair, appropriate sentences that help "revive the image of peace-loving Iran" in the world.

"Under international law, diplomatic premises of any country are parts of its assets and attacking them means attacking that country," he noted.

Nourian said Iranians for whatever reasons are disappointed with the moves of a foreign government should not get "emotional" and their protests should be "in line with national interest".

Relations between the Islamic Republic and the Saudi kingdom have been strained since the 1979 revolution in Iran, which toppled the monarchy. Saudi rulers bankrolled the bloody Iraqi invasion of Iran one year later extended full-fledged political and diplomatic backing to the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. The Saudi-backed military aggression killed a million people on both sides and devastated Iran's economy.

However, relations became particularly tense after the Arab Spring rocked the region in 2011, as the two regional powers supported opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Bahrain, among others.

But the real problem emerged after Salman bin Abdulaziz ascended to the throne in January 2015, who started a military campaign in Yemen. He adopted a more aggressive policy against Iran to isolate what he saw as a major rival emerging from years of international sanctions over its nuclear activities.

The Mina incident outside the holy city of Mecca last year, in which hundreds of Iranians were killed, the sexual harassment of two Iranian pilgrims at Jeddah airport by Saudi security officers in April 2015 and Riyadh's undisputed  role in the plunge in global oil prices in the last two years are other reasons behind the escalation of tensions.