Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, as Shi'ite Muslim Iran reacts with fury to Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric. Nathan Frandino reports.
Iranian protesters angry at Saudi Arabia's execution of a Shi'ite cleric stormed the kingdom's embassy in Tehran early Sunday. The demonstrators smashed furniture and set fire to the building before being ejected by police. The embassy assault comes less than a day after Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia executed cleric Nimr al-Nimr. He was among 47 people executed on terrorism charges. His death prompted anger in Shi'ite Muslim Iran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Nimr a martyr whose death would haunt the Saudis. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN SUPREME LEADER, AYATOLLAH ALI KHAMENEI, SAYING: "It is a huge crime and it is a wrong deed because this blood will trouble them, without doubt. I have no doubt about it." On Twitter, President Hassan Rouhani condemned the execution... but also called for prosecuting the quote "extremist individuals" who attacked the embassy. On the streets of Tehran, Iranians awoke to newspaper headlines blasting Saudi Arabia. This one reads: the "Saudi family has dug its grave." Residents say they're united against Nimr's execution. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) TEHRAN RESIDENT, JALILI, SAYING: "Naturally now Iranian statesmen should support other suppressed people, including the suppressed people of Saudi Arabia who have faced this terrible event." The standoff is likely to worsen sectarian tensions in the region, where these two countries are battling for influence.