5-speed listening (Level 4)

Iran and Saudi Arabia in war of words






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There is a war of words between Iran and Saudi Arabia after the execution of a Shia Muslim cleric. He was among 47 men killed on terrorism charges. Saudi leaders said the cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, had led anti-government protests in 2011-2012. Mr Al-Nimr said he never carried weapons or called for violence. He had encouraged people to use "the roar of the word" instead. Iran said al-Nimr was killed for being a Shia Muslim. Saudi Arabia is largely Sunni Muslim.

There were protests against the execution in the Iranian capital Tehran. The Saudi Arabian embassy was set on fire. Iran said Saudi Arabia would pay a "heavy price" for the execution. Saudi Arabia said Iran should stay out of what was an internal Saudi matter. The foreign ministry said Mr al-Nimr was killed for breaking the law and not for being a Shia Muslim. It said: "There is no difference between what a person does regardless of his ethnic origin."

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