Saudi Arabia condemns 4 to death for Tehran-linked assassination plot
Saudi Arabian city view with the Kingdom Tower, background, and 'Al-Faislia Tower' in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, February 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
A Saudi court has sentenced four people to death for links to regional rival Iran, alleging that they were plotting the assassination of âprominent figures,â state media said Thursday.
âThe criminal court has sentenced four terrorists to death for forming a cell for Iran,â the state-owned Al-Ekhbariya TV reported.
âThe terrorists were trained in camps in Iranâ and âplanned to assassinate prominent figures,â Al-Ekhbariya said, without giving any more details on those convicted.
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Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shiite power, have a long history of rivalry. They today stand on opposing sides of conflicts in the Middle East, from Syria to Yemen.Iranian and Turkish demonstrators hold pictures of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as they protest outside the Saudi Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, January 3, 2016, following Saudi Arabiaâs execution of 47 prisoners in one day. (A/Burhan Ozbilici)
In December 2016, a Saudi cour t sentenced 15 people to death for spying for Iran, according to local media. A source told AFP then that most of them were members of the kingdomâs Shiite minority.
Earlier in 2016, regional tensions spiked when Riyadh executed prominent Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a driving force behind anti-government protests, for âterrorism.â
The ultra-conservative kingdom has one of the worldâs highest rates of execution, with suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking facing the death penalty.
Rights experts have repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, governed under a strict form of Islamic law. The government says the death penalty is a deterrent for further crime.read more:
- Israel & the Region
- Iran-Saudi Arabia relations
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