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Rouhani Accuses Saudi Arabia of Trying to 'Cover Big Crime'

© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiIranian women wave flags that read, "Death to America and we shall never accept humiliation," during a rally to protest the execution by Saudi Arabia last week of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent opposition Saudi Shiite cleric, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016
Iranian women wave flags that read, Death to America and we shall never accept humiliation, during a rally to protest the execution by Saudi Arabia last week of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent opposition Saudi Shiite cleric, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Breaking off diplomatic ties with Tehran will not help Saudi Arabia cover its criminal decision to execute the Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

"Saudi Arabia cannot hide its crime of beheading a religious leader by severing political relations with Iran," Reuters quoted Rouhani as saying on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia insisted that the 47 people executed at the weekend had been granted "fair and just trials without any consideration to their intellectual, racial, or sectarian affiliation."

Iranian protesters gather outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran during a demonstration against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities, on January 2, 2016 - Sputnik International
Fanning the Flames: Saudi Arabia 'Deliberately Provoked' Conflict With Iran
Earlier Riyadh named the terms of restoring diplomatic ties with Tehran with its UN envoy  Abdallah al-Muallimi  making such restoration conditional on Tehran no longer meddling with internal affairs of other countries, including Saudi Arabia’s.”

On Monday Russia offered to act as a mediator of the ongoing conflict.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia soured following the execution Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in Saudi Arabia, an outspoken critic of the Saudi monarchy, along with 46 other people convicted of terrorism.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran on Sunday, responding to attacks by protesters on its diplomatic missions in the two most populous Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad.

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