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    Iranian security protect Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran, Iran, while a group of demonstrators gathered to protest execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016

    Iran Denies Involvement in Attack on Saudi Embassy in Tehran

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    State authorities of Iran were not complicit in organizing an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Hossein Zolfaqari said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On January 2, Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia announced the execution of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Following the news, the Saudi diplomatic mission in the capital of Iran, the region’s main Shiite power, was stormed by protesters.

    "People who committed this attack are an organized group which has been active in Karaj and Tehran for more than 10 years," Zolfaqari said, as quoted by the IRNA news agency.

    According to the official, the Iranian authorities, as well as civil society activists "did not participate in the creation of this group."

    Zolfaqari added that an interior ministry report on the January 2 attack had been presented to President Hassan Rouhani two days ago and was ready to be submitted to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Saudi Arabia formally severed diplomatic ties with Iran after the attacks on the diplomatic mission in Tehran and Mashhad, and was joined by Bahrain, Sudan and Djibouti, while the United Arab Emirates downgraded its diplomatic relations with Iran and Kuwait recalled its ambassador.

    Shiite cleric, execution, Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Arabia, Iran
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