Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of bombing its embassy in Yemen

Earlier Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced that its air forces shot down a missile fired from Yemen.
By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Jan. 7, 2016 at 8:39 AM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Iran is accusing Saudi Arabia of "intentionally" attacking its embassy in Yemen as relations between the two Middle East powers continue to deteriorate.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said Saudi Arabia launched an airstrike late Wednesday on the Iranian embassy in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Ansari said the embassy was damaged and several guards were injured.

"Saudi Arabia is responsible for this action, as well as for compensating Iran for injuries to the embassy personnel and the damages to the embassy building," Ansari said on Thursday, according to the state-run IRIB News agency. "Iran reserves the right to [legally] pursue this matter."

CNN reports that Saudi coalition spokesman Col. Ahmed Asseri said an investigation into the incident was necessary, adding that accusations are "not credible because we have not seen any evidence."

Earlier Thursday, Saudi Arabia announced that its air forces shot down a missile fired from Yemen, where the kingdom is leading an anti-rebel coalition.

The Command of Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen group said it intercepted the missile Thursday morning in the country's Jizan province, "where it was destroyed without causing any damage," the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. Saudi forces then moved to "immediately" destroy the missile's launch pad in Yemen.

More than 5,700 people have died, nearly half of them civilians, since a pro-government coalition led by Saudi Arabia began a military campaign against Houthi rebels in March after the rebels seized the city of Sanaa and began to advance to Aden.

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have also created instability in the region. On Saturday, the Saudi government executed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others convicted of terror-related crimes. Al-Nimr was an anti-Sunni activist who called for the removal of the Sunni Muslim Saudi royal family during the so-called Arab spring in 2011.

The execution of al-Nimr was met with sharp condemnation from Iran and resulted in a rapid deterioration in diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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