(CNN)The fallout of Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric is spreading beyond a spat between the Saudis and Iranians, as other Middle East nations chose sides Monday and world powers Russia and China weighed in.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran — two Middle Eastern powerhouses — quickly deteriorated following Riyadh’s execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr Saturday.

Hours after the death sentence was carried out, protesters in Shiite-majority Iran attacked the Saudi Embassy in Tehran. The Saudis cut diplomatic relations with Iran over the attack on its embassy.

Saudi-Iran feud jeopardizes U.S. efforts on ISIS, Syria

Officials from both countries defended their positions Monday and showed no sign of backing down.

Saudi Arabia suspended all flights to and from Iran. It also sent a letter to the U.N. Security Council accusing Iranian authorities of failing in their duties to protect the Saudi embassy.

Jaberi Ansari, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, said his country is committed to protecting diplomatic missions and reiterated that no Saudi diplomats were harmed — or even present — during the attack.

He accused Saudi Arabia of “looking for some excuses to pursue its own unwise policies to further tension in the region.”

Source cnn.com

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