In the wake of the execution of a popular Shiite cleric, angry protesters in Iran set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran on Saturday night. Fire bombs were thrown, furniture was smashed, and glass was broken, according to The New York Times.

The blaze came after the cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, was killed along with 46 other prisoners in a single day in Saudi Arabia, all of whom were accused of terrorism by the government. Shiite politicians, clerics in Iraq and humanitarian organizations condemned the cleric’s execution, saying that al-Nimr had preached nonviolence and never carried weapons. Al-Nimr had gained notoriety for criticizing the powerful Saudi monarchy.

In Tehran, crowds were reportedly heard shouting “Death to the Al Saud family,” the monarchy that rules Saudi Arabia. Some 40 people have been arrested so far, according to the Associated Press. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the death of Al-Nimr, but also called the attack on the embassy “unjustifiable.”

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Protesters have also been gathering in Mashhad, Beirut, and in Bahrain in the wake of al-Nimr’s death.


Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.

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