PHOTO: Women hold up posters of the executed cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in an anti-Saudi demonstration on Monday in Tehran (Atta Kenare/Getty/AFP)
UPDATE 0845 GMT: Kuwait has recalled its ambassador to Iran.
The move was announced by the State-run Kuwait News Agency, which did not give details.
Sudan, which cut ties with Tehran on Monday, said Iranian diplomats have two weeks to leave the country.
Iran’s regime tried to maintain a united front on Monday after Saudi Arabia and other countries broke off or downgraded diplomatic ties with Tehran.
Iranian State media heralded more public demonstrations denouncing Riyadh’s execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqr al-Nimr and 46 other detainees on Saturday. The killings spurred protests on Saturday night which burned and ransacked an annex to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran — those in turn led to Saudi Arabia’s order for Iranian diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours and for their own personnel to return from Iran.
Bahrain and Sudan followed the Saudis on Monday by breaking relations with Tehran, while the UAE recalled its ambassador and reduced its diplomatic staff in Tehran. Egypt, which cut ties with Iran in 1980, supported the Saudi decision, with Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visiting Riyadh and saying that Iranian “interference” in Saudi internal matters “is unacceptable and not approved by any international laws and norms”.
Iranian State media said that Oman had refused to follow fellow Gulf Cooperation Council members Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE. It claimed that, after a meeting with Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, the Omani Ambassador said Riyadh’s step was “unwise and incorrect”.
Iran’s Press TV declares this morning that “thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in Tehran again to express their outrage” at al-Nimr’s execution: “They carried banners in support of the prominent Shia leader and chanted slogans against the Al Saud regime and its allies, the United States and Israel.”
Head of judiciary Sadegh Larijani led regime criticism of the Saudis on Monday, proclaiming “numerous crimes by Saudis in different regions” and Riyadh’s “support for terrorists”. He accused Riyadh of “the most evil plots” on behalf of hegemonic powers and colonialists: “Undoubtedly, their crimes in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen will serve the interests of Israel and the US.”
Fars News, the outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, headlined, “Good Riddance: Nervous as Hell Riyadh Calls It Quits in Tehran”:
The Saudis are losing the proxy war against Iran, and their diplomatic tactics and provocative executions aren’t working. Their agents of destruction are also getting beaten quite badly by the new counter-terror alliance in Syria.
[This] is why they are nervous as hell and have moved on to Plan B — a diplomatic strategy for producing the ultimate “Shia-Sunni War” to improve their chances for success in round two through the Crisis-Escalation policy.