Kuwait recalls its ambassador from Iran

Kuwait recalls its ambassador from Iran
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Kuwait on Tuesday recalled its ambassador to Iran, becoming the latest Arab country to side with Saudi Arabia in its fight with Tehran. 

A statement on the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry website said the move came after Iran allowed demonstrators in Tehran to torch the Saudi embassy there. 

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The statement called it a "flagrant violation of the norms and international conventions and a grave breach of international obligations of Iran to the security of diplomatic missions and the safety of its crew." 

In addition, the Kuwaiti deputy foreign minister sent a protest note to the Iranian ambassador to Kuwait.  

The fight between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which began after the execution of a Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia, threatens U.S. goals in the region. 

The U.S. is seeking a political solution to the civil war in Syria and had succeeded in coaxing both Saudi Arabia and Iran to the table to discuss a resolution.

Kuwait's decision also comes a day after Bahrain and Sudan — which like Kuwait have Sunni leadership — cut diplomatic ties with Iran. The United Arab Emirates downgraded relations with Iran.

While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has denounced the attacks on the Saudi embassy, he pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, saying that it should not divert attention from its execution of the dissident Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. 

“To cover up the crime of beheading a religious leader by the country, the Saudi government initiated a strange move and severed its political ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Rouhani said in a meeting with the Danish foreign minister in Tehran, according to The New York Times. 

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainEx-Bush aide Nicolle Wallace to host MSNBC show Meghan McCain: Obama 'a dirty capitalist like the rest of us' Top commander: Don't bet on China reining in North Korea MORE (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, in a statement late Monday called Iran's response to al-Nimr's death "outrageous and dangerous." 

“[Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] criticized Saudi Arabia at the same time that the Islamic Republic of Iran oppresses Christian, Jewish, Baha’i, and Muslim minorities; jails journalists, activists, and political opposition figures, including innocent Americans; ranks second in the world in government executions behind only China; threatens to destroy Israel; props up the murderous Assad regime in Syria; and supports terrorist groups in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, and across the region," he said.

McCain also expressed support for Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, and said U.S. disengagement from the region was exacerbating tensions between rival powers Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

“Saudi Arabia is one of America's closest and oldest partners and deserves our continued support. Our governments do not agree on every issue, and in the case of the execution of Saudi cleric Nimr Al-Nimr, I believe the United States can question the justice of that action while still standing with our Saudi partners to confront the terrorism of [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] and its affiliates as well as the aggression and hypocrisy of the Iranian government," he said.  

“Tensions between Riyadh and Tehran have been escalating for years, due in no small part to the perception that America is withdrawing from the region," he said. "Increasingly, our allies and partners question America’s commitment to their security, and as a result, are taking matters into their own hands. It is alarming, yet hardly surprising that these fateful decisions could manifest themselves in increased diplomatic tensions, growing regional security competition, new arms races, and possibly nuclear proliferation."

Updated 9:45 a.m.