Bahrain and Sudan, both close allies of Saudi Arabia, have joined the kingdom and cut diplomatic relations with Iran, while the United Arab Emirates, another Saudi ally, has downgraded them.
The steps come just days after Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran in an apparent response to the kingdom’s execution over the weekend of a prominent Shiite cleric. Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran after the embassy protest, recalling its diplomats from the Islamic republic and giving Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.
In a statement, Bahrain said it was cutting relations with Iran “after the criminal cowardly attacks on the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and its consulate in the city of Mashhad.”
Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said Khartoum was cutting relations with Tehran in “response to the barbaric attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Mashhad.” A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Emirates were downgrading ties with Tehran “in the light of Iran’s continuous interference in the internal affairs of Gulf and Arab states, which has reached unprecedented levels.”
Hossein Jaber Ansari, an Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the steps continued the Saudi “policy of increasing tension and clashes in the region.”