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Iran Accuses Saudi Warplanes Of Striking Its Embassy In Yemen

Source: RFE/RL

Iran has accused Saudi warplanes of "deliberately" attacking its embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. "Saudi Arabia is responsible for the damage to the embassy building and the injury to some of its staff," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said on January 7. Ansari didn't specify when the alleged strike took place.

A Saudi-led coalition, which has been targeting Iranian-backed Shi'ite rebels in Yemen since March, said it was investigating Tehran's claim.

Spokesman Ahmad Assari said coalition jets carried out heavy strikes in Sanaa on the night of January 6 to target missile launchers used by the Houthi rebels to fire at Saudi Arabia.

He also said the rebels had used civilian facilities including abandoned embassies.

The claim comes as tensions mount between the two regional rivals -- Sunni Muslim power Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-led Iran -- over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

Also on January 7, Tehran announced it had banned all products from Saudi Arabia.

"The cabinet has banned the entry of all Saudi products and products from Saudi Arabia," the Iranian government said in a statement, noting that a ban on Iranians travelling to the Saudi holy city of Mecca for the umrah pilgrimage was also in place "until further notice."

Iran's annual imports from Saudi Arabia total about $60 million a year and consisted mostly of packing materials and textiles.

Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran after its embassy in Tehran was attacked by protesters.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and AP

Copyright (c) 2016 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 01/03/16 ... --

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