(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.
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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.”