January 3, 2016 5:05 pm

Saudi Arabia announces it is severing ties with Iran

WATCH ABOVE: Iranians protest Saudi execution of Shiite cleric

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TEHRAN, Iran – Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir says his country is severing diplomatic ties with Iran amid spiking tensions over the execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric.

Al-Jubeir said late Sunday evening that Iranian diplomatic personnel had 48 hours to leave the country and all Saudi diplomatic personnel in Iran were being recalled home.

WATCH: Protest outside Saudi consulate in Turkey

Demonstrators in Tehran broke into the Saudi Embassy early Sunday morning to protest the execution of Shiekh Nimr al-Nimr, a leader of the country’s Shiite minority.

Iranian officials harshly condemned the execution, with Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying that Saudi Arabia would face “divine retribution.”

WATCH: Protests in Jammu-Kashmir over Saudi Arabia mass executions

The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom and Shiite powerhouse Iran have waged a bitter struggle for regional power for years. The two countries each back opposing sides in civil wars in Yemen and in Syria.

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© 2016 The Canadian Press

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