Saudi Arabia breaks off ties with Iran

Saudi Arabia has broken off diplomatic ties with Iran, amid a row over the Saudi execution of a prominent Shia Muslim cleric.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others were executed on 2nd Jan. after being convicted of terror-related offences.

Iran is Saudi Arabia’s main regional rival – they back opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.
Relations between the countries have been strained over various issues in recent decades, including Iran’s nuclear programme and deaths of Iranians at the Hajj pilgrimage in 1987 and again in 2015.