US calls for all sides in Middle East to calm tensions

WASHINGTON - The US State Department on Monday renewed its call for leaders in the Middle East to try to calm tensions after Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran on Sunday.
"The United States is concerned about rising tensions in the Middle East ... following recent executions in Saudi Arabia, attacks on Saudi diplomatic properties in Iran and (then) the cutting or downgrading by a number of countries of their diplomatic ties (with Iran)," State Department spokesman John Kirby said at his daily briefing. "We call on all sides to avoid any actions that would further heighten tensions in the region."