Saudi-Iran tensions rise after gun attack on Saudi cleric in Philippines

"Iran does not want anyone to compete with it over the Philippines. It wants to frighten other clerics so it could Shi’itize the Philippine people."

March 1, 2016 18:58

People protest in front of Saudi Arabia's embassy during a demonstration in Tehran January 2, 2016. Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi Embassy in Tehran early on Sunday morning as Shi'ite Muslim Iran reacted with fury to Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The Saudi preacher Sheikh Aed al Qarni was severely injured in a shooting attack Tuesday afternoon during a lecture he had delivered in a religious center in the Philippines.

According to Saudi reports, the lecture took place in an Islamic religious center regarded as a stronghold of Shi'ites in the Philippines, while hundreds of clerics were present at the auditorium listening to the Sheikh.

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Philippine authorities announced the killing of the gunman who carried out the attack.

Another Saudi cleric, Abdel Rahman Nassar, accused Iran of attempting to assassinate al Qarn. Nassar tweeted: "Iran does not want anyone to compete with it over the Philippines. It wants to frighten other clerics so it could Shi’itize the Philippine people."

If Nassar’s remarks are true, it is additional evidence of Iran's attempt to export its conflict with Saudi Arabia to the East Asian arena.

Last week a Philippine newspaper revealed an Iranian conspiracy to hijack and blow up a Saudi airplane. According to the report the Saudi embassy in the Philippines had warned the Philippine Foreign Ministry about the plan being plotted by Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

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