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Saudi Arabia Severs Diplomatic Ties With Iran: Foreign Minister

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    Demonstrators hold posters of Nimr Baqir al-Nimr and shout slogans during a protest rally outside the embassy of Saudi Arabia against the execution of prominent Saudi Shia cleric Nimr Baqir al-Nimr by Saudi authorities, in Tehran, Iran on January 3, 2016.

    Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had severed ties with Iran over the storming of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, in a worsening diplomatic crisis between the regional rivals following the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

    Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at a news conference Iran's diplomatic mission and related entities in Saudi Arabia had been given 48 hours to leave, Reuters reported.

    According to the semi-official Fars news agency, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said "Saudi Arabia cannot cover up [the] mistake of executing a religious figure by announcing a cutting of diplomatic ties."

    The Foreign Ministry summoned Iran's ambassador and delivered a "strong protest note" objecting to Tehran's failure "to provide the necessary protection for foreign missions according to international relevant agreements and laws," according to the Saudi Press Agency, which added that the kindgo had lodged formal protests with several international bodies, including the U.N. Security Council.