Iran accuses Saudi of bombing Yemen embassy

Yemeni women, supporters of Iran-backed Shiite Huthi rebels, hold posters bearing portraits of prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a demonstration on January 7, 2016 outside the Saudi embassy in the capital SanaaIran said Thursday it would protest to the UN Security Council after claiming Saudi warplanes bombed its embassy in Yemen, in a new escalation of tensions that have reverberated across the region. The Saudi-led coalition combating Iran-backed Shiite rebels in Yemen denied the accusation, saying no operations were carried out near the mission. Shiite-dominated Iran also announced a ban on imports from its Sunni-ruled rival.

Rupture with Iran may not have been Saudi aim, but Riyadh has no regrets

By Angus McDowall RIYADH (Reuters) – The diplomatic rupture with Iran triggered by the execution of a Shi’ite cleric was probably a side effect of a decision taken by Saudi Arabia for domestic reasons, rather than the outcome of a deliberate ploy to enrage its regional opponent. Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also defense minister, reassured the world on Thursday the crisis would stop short of an all-out war between the Gulf region’s main powers. “A war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the beginning of a major catastrophe in the region, and it will reflect very strongly on the rest of the world.

Israeli journalist, Palestinian pastor win Swedish rights prize

Journalist at Israel's Haaretz newspaper, Gideon Levy poses in his home on August 12, 2014 in the coastal Israeli city of Tel AvivIsraeli journalist Gideon Levy and Palestinian pastor Mitri Raheb on Thursday won the 2015 Olof Palme human rights prize for their "fight against occupation and violence", the jury said. Levy, a journalist at the left-leaning Israeli daily Haaretz, and Raheb, a preacher and pastor in the Lutheran church in Bethlehem, were honoured for their "courageous and indefatigable fight against occupation and violence, and for a future Middle East characterised by peaceful coexistence and equality for all," the Olof Palme Memorial Fund said in a statement.

Iran to protest Saudi ‘bombing’ of Yemen embassy to Security Council

Yemen has tightened security near the Iranian embassy in SanaaIran said Thursday it would protest to the UN Security Council after it accused Saudi warplanes of deliberately bombing its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. "During an air raid by Saudi Arabia against Sanaa, a rocket fell near our embassy and unfortunately one of our guards was seriously wounded," Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said, quoted by official news agency IRNA. "We will inform the Security Council of the details of this attack within several hours," he said.

Saudi foreign minister visits Pakistan as Iran tensions deepen

Advisor to Pakistan's Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz listens to a question during a news conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the Foreign Ministry in IslamabadBy Tommy Wilkes ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia's foreign minister arrived in Pakistan on Thursday, where he met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is keen to use the two-day visit to defuse spiraling sectarian tension between the Sunni-majority kingdom and Shi'ite Iran. Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric on Saturday inflamed tension across the Middle East and infuriated Iran, Riyadh's main rival in the region. Several of Saudi Arabia's Sunni allies have broken diplomatic ties with Iran after demonstrators ransacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran this weekend.