Full Transparency Expected in Trial of Saudi Embassy Vandals

Full Transparency Expected in Trial of Saudi Embassy Vandals Full Transparency Expected in Trial of Saudi Embassy Vandals

Lawmakers say the judiciary's transparency in trying the attackers on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran will ease public concerns and produce deterring effects.

The statements were made soon after an announcement by the judiciary that the case of the January attack on the Saudi diplomatic mission will go to court later this month.  

Morteza Saffari Natanzi, an independent lawmaker, told ICANA on Friday that due diligence and transparency in bringing the criminals to justice will ensure the people that everyone is equal in the eyes of law.  

"Verdicts against the attackers should be handed down as soon as possible so we never see such radical actions again," he said.  

Severe sentences, Saffari Natanzi said, will send a clear message. Vandals, hooligans and those who make a mockery of the law will "think twice before committing similar acts."

Minus a strong verdict, "the message that will be conveyed [to the people] will be that everyone is free to do anything in this country," the member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission told the Majlis news agency.

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

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

The attackers on the Arab kingdom's embassy were reportedly angry over the widely criticized execution of top Saudi Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The Saudi consulate in Mashhad was also stormed by protesters at the time.

Although Iranian authorities strongly condemned the attack and called for the prosecution of perpetrators, Riyadh used the unruly incident to cut already strained diplomatic relations with Iran.

  Need for Reassurance   

Mohammad Kazemi, a reformist legislator, said an open trial of the perpetrators of the attack who "endangered national security" will prevent a repetition of such incidents.

Pointing to recent statements by President Hassan Rouhani, who has demanded a clear judgment on the case, Kazemi said a transparent trial will respond to the people's queries and help build trust in the justice-dispensing system.

"People must be assured that in handling such cases, courts will not be lenient and everything will be carefully scrutinized."

Rouhani said last Tuesday the people are waiting for the trial and expect a fair verdict.

"The public is monitoring how the judiciary will handle the case of the unruly elements who violated the law and (harmed) national security by attacking an embassy," he said.

Relations between Iran and the Saudi kingdom have been strained since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which replaced a monarchy with a republic.

However, ties became particularly tense when crisis and conflicts emerged in the strategic region in 2011, as the two regional powers supported opposing sides in standoffs in Syria and Bahrain, among others.

But the real problem emerged after the ailing King Salman bin Abdulaziz came to power in January 2015 and started a military campaign in Yemen, which further widened the rift between the two countries. The House of Saud also adopted a dangerous and aggressive foreign policy against Iran to isolate what it saw as a major rival emerging from years of international sanctions over its nuclear activities.