Saudi ally Comoros breaks off relations with Iran

AFP , Friday 15 Jan 2016

Indian Ocean archipelago and Saudi Arabia ally the Comoros said Friday it had cut diplomatic relations with Iran over what it termed Tehran's "aggression" towards Jeddah.

A foreign ministry statement said the Comoros viewed Tehran as "interfering" in "the internal affairs of certain countries" and "not respecting diplomatic conventions".

Relations between majority Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia dived after the January 2 ransacking of the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the Saudi consulate in Mashhad, Iran's second city.

The ransacking came amid anger over Riyadh's execution of Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent cleric from the kingdom's Shia minority.

Following the execution Jeddah severed diplomatic relations with Tehran.

Several Arab countries followed suit and severed or reduced relations with Iran.

Comoros' foreign ministry said it had called on the Iranian ambassador to clear his desk.

The move came a week after the Comoros recalled its own ambassador from Tehran judging that Iran has created a climate of "gratuitous aggression" towards Jeddah.

"One cannot violate with impunity the sovereignty of diplomatic missions," the ministry's director general Ahamada Hamadi told AFP, referring to the ransacking.

The three islands of Anjouan, Grand Comore and Moheli that make up the Comoros have a total population of just under 800,000 people, nearly all of whom are Sunni Muslims.

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