Tuesday , 18 June 2024

Iran-Saudi Tensions Simmer as Six Iranian Journalists Expelled

Iranwire – Tensions are on the rise between Iran and Saudi Arabia as Iranian state television reported the expulsion of six journalists from the kingdom. 

The Iranian crew members were reportedly released after being detained for nearly a week and barred from participating in the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage.

This incident comes despite a year of tentative improvement in relations between the two regional powers, facilitated by Chinese mediation. 

While Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran reopened their embassies, the situation remains strained. 

The Saudi embassy in Tehran, set on fire by Basij students in 2016, is currently unusable, and the Saudi diplomats are housed in a hotel.

Decades of friction exist between the two countries, particularly concerning the holy sites in Saudi Arabia, which house Islam’s holiest sites and will host the Hajj next month.

Iranian state television claims the detentions began over a week ago with three journalists arrested while recording a Quran reading in Medina’s Prophet Muhammad mosque. 

The report provided no details on the initial arrest but stated that the men were held for “several hours of questioning” before being transferred to a detention center.