Saudis cut direct flights from Iran

Shi'ite Muslims protesting against the execution of cleric Nimr al-Nimr in front of the Saudi Embassy in New Delhi on Monday.
Shi'ite Muslims protesting against the execution of cleric Nimr al-Nimr in front of the Saudi Embassy in New Delhi on Monday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Around 150 direct flights between Iran and Saudi Arabia, carrying thousands of pilgrims every month, have been halted after diplomatic ties between the two countries were severed, aviation sources said.

Meanwhile, Kuwait recalled its ambassador from Teheran, after Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed or downgraded diplomatic relations with Iran in a crisis that could deepen sectarian tensions in the war-torn Arab world.

The fallout, triggered by the storming of the Saudi Embassy in Teheran following the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric last weekend, has also sparked protests by Shi'ite Muslims in Baghdad and New Delhi, among other cities.

Washington and other Western powers, as well as the United Nations, have called for calm.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2016, with the headline 'Saudis cut direct flights from Iran'. Print Edition | Subscribe