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Iran's President Urges Transparency in Saudi Embassy Trial

  • Associated Press

FILE - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the inauguration of the new parliament, in Tehran, Iran, May 28, 2016.

FILE - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the inauguration of the new parliament, in Tehran, Iran, May 28, 2016.

The Iranian president on Tuesday called for "transparency'' in the upcoming trial of 48 suspects who stormed Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January, an attack that prompted the kingdom to cut ties with Tehran and left relations between the regional powers badly frayed.

Hassan Rouhani said the Iranian people are looking to see how the country's judiciary will handle the case of those who ransacked the missions, reiterating earlier remarks that the attack went against Iranian laws.

The trial of the 48 suspects in the case is due next week.

Transparent proceedings would show that Iran cares for "securing embassies and will increase international trust in our country,'' Rouhani said

The comments, broadcast on state TV, clearly seek to draw attention to the case and could reflect Rouhani's attempts at rapprochement with the Sunni kingdom.

Angry Iranians attacked the Saudi missions after Riyadh executed a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric, prompting the kingdom to sever diplomatic ties with the Shiite Iran.

Another contentious issue between the two countries is the annual hajj pilgrimage to Muslim holy sites in Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of last year's deadly crush of pilgrims that killed at least 2,426 people, according to a count by The Associated Press. Tehran has said 464 of the dead were Iranian.

Earlier in June, Iran said it would not facilitate sending pilgrims to the hajj year, allegedly because the kingdom had failed to provide adequate security.

The two regional rivals also support opposing sides in Syria's civil war and the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

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