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Iran Says Saudis Can't Cover 'Crime' By Cutting Ties

Iran's President Hassan Rohani has said that Saudi Arabia cannot hide "its crime" in executing a prominent Shi'ite cleric by severing ties with Tehran.

"Saudi government has taken a strange action and cut off its diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to cover its crimes," Rohani said in a statement posted on his website on January 5.

"Undoubtedly, such actions can't cover up that big crime," Rohani added, referring to the kingdom's execution of leading cleric and opposition figure Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Sudan broke all ties with Iran and the United Arab Emirates downgraded its relations on January 4 after the Saudi Embassy in Tehran was stormed by protesters. Kuwait recalled its ambassador to Iran on January 5.

The Iranian government has distanced itself from the embassy attack and even blamed foreign elements for organizing it.

Tehran called the attack "suspicious" and "in favor of Saudi Arabia's policies."

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters