philippe leroyer flicr

Bahrain cuts diplomatic ties with Iran in row over Saudi execution of Shia cleric

Gulf state tells Iranian diplomats to leave within 48 hours, following the lead of Saudi Arabia after protests in Tehran against execution of prominent Shia cleric.

Bahrain has quickly followed Saudi Arabia in severing its diplomatic relations with Iran in the wake of the row over the execution of a leading Shia cleric by the Saudi authorities, which has provoked wide international condemnation.

The island state, Saudi Arabia’s closest Gulf ally, said on Monday that Iranian diplomats had 48 hours to leave Manama. Its own diplomats would be leaving Tehran.

Bahrain has often blamed Iran for fomenting subversion and terrorism against a background of unrest among the country’s Shia majority. Its decision will add to pressure on the United Arab Emirates, another close Saudi ally, to follow suit.