“”I have no doubt that this pure blood will stain the collar of the House of Saud and wipe them from the pages of history.” The Sunni-Shi’ite jihad threatens a sharp escalation.
“Iran says Saudi Arabia will ‘pay a high price’ for execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr,” ABC.net.au, January 2, 2016:
Iran has warned Saudi Arabia it will pay “a high price” for executing prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry said 47 people, mostly suspected Al Qaeda members but also Sheikh Nimr, were executed after being convicted of adopting the radical “takfiri” ideology, joining “terrorist organisations” and implementing various “criminal plots”.
The conservative Islamic kingdom, which usually executes people by public beheading, detained thousands of militant Islamists after a series of Al Qaeda attacks from 2003 to 2006 that killed hundreds, and has convicted hundreds of them.
However, it also detained hundreds of members of its Shiite minority after protests from 2011 to 2013, during which several policemen were killed in shooting and petrol bomb attacks.
Sheikh Nimr, a 56-year-old cleric, was a driving force of the protests that broke out in 2011 in the Sunni-ruled kingdom’s east, where the Shiite minority complains of marginalisation.
The list of those killed does not include Sheikh Nimr’s nephew, Ali al-Nimr, who was 17 when he was arrested following the protests.
The Interior Ministry statement began with Koranic verses justifying the use of execution and state television showed footage of the aftermath of Al Qaeda attacks in the last decade.
Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh appeared on television soon after to describe the executions as just.
The execution has angered Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival, Shiite Iran, with the country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari threatening retaliation.
“The Saudi Government supports terrorist movements and extremists, but confronts domestic critics with oppression and execution … the Saudi Government will pay a high price for following these policies,” Mr Ansari said.
The comments came after prominent Iranian cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami — who has close links to Iran’s ruling establishment — denounced the execution and predicted the repercussions would bring down the Saudi ruling family.
“I have no doubt that this pure blood will stain the collar of the House of Saud and wipe them from the pages of history,” Ayatollah Khatami, a member of the Assembly of Experts and a Friday prayer leader, told the Mehr news agency.
“The crime of executing Sheikh Nimr is part of a criminal pattern by this treacherous family… the Islamic world is expected to cry out and denounce this infamous regime as much as it can.”
Iraq’s former prime minister and a prominent politician with ties to Iran, Nuri al-Maliki, said the execution will mark the end of Saudi Arabia’s government.
“We strongly condemn these detestable sectarian practices and affirm that the crime of executing Sheikh al-Nimr will topple the Saudi regime as the crime of executing the martyr (Mohammed Baqir) al-Sadr did to Saddam (Hussein),” said Mr Maliki, referring to another prominent Shiite cleric killed in 1980….
Seminary students marched through the Iranian holy city of Qom to protest against the execution of Sheikh Nimr, the Iranian Mehr news agency said hours after news of the execution was released…