WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Saturday, Saudi Arabia announced it executed 47 people convicted on charges of terrorism. The Saudi state news agency said most of the individuals were members of al-Qaeda.
The executed included a prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. His execution prompted attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in Mashhad.
Earlier on Monday, Human Rights Watch condemned Saudi mass executions calling it a shameful start to 2016.
On Saturday, demonstrators in Iran protesting al-Nimr’s execution attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, as well as the Saudi consulate in Mashhad. Following the incident, Saudi Arabia announced it cut diplomatic ties and air transportation links with Iran.
"If you're asking if we're trying to become a mediator of this… the answer is ‘no’," Kirby stated.
Kirby noted that the United States would like to see "tensions decreased" and "engagement continue," but that those would be issues that "these countries have got to work out for themselves."
US Would Condemn ‘Any Country’ Carrying Out Mass Executions
The United States has been concerned with the worsening human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, and would condemn mass executions anywhere in the world, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
“The State Department put out a report detailing the long list of concerns that the US has with Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, and certainly mass executions would rate highly in that list of concerns,” Earnest stated. “We certainly would condemn any country that is carrying out mass executions.”
Saudi-Iran Confrontation Complicates Syrian Peace Process
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia make negotiations on stabilizing the situation in Syria more difficult, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest also said.
"We have got a very difficult situation we are trying to navigate in terms of reaching a political resolution to the situation inside of Syria," Earnest stated. "It certainly is going to be even more difficult to get everybody back around the table, if you have the Saudis and the Iranians trading public barbs and public expressions of antagonism."
US Condemns Attack on Saudi Facilities in Iran
The United States denounces the assaults on the diplomatic facilities of Saudi Arabia in Iran and calls on Tehran to meet its international commitments to protect them, John Kirby stated.