A look at where countries stand in dispute between Saudi Arabia, Iran

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which began with the kingdom's execution of a Shiite cleric and escalated with attacks on Saudi diplomatic posts in the Islamic Republic, have countries around the world responding by choosing sides or urging calm.

See Full Article

Some nations have followed the Saudis' lead in severing or downgrading ties with Iran, while others have offered words of caution aimed at calming the situation.

Here's a look at where countries and other regional actors stand at this point:


SAUDI ARABIA -- The kingdom severed ties to Iran after attacks on two of its diplomatic posts following its execution of a Shiite cleric last weekend. It also later cancelled all flights between the two nations.

IRAN -- Since the attack on the diplomatic posts, Iran says it has made arrests and has criticized the violent protesters. However on Tuesday, President Hassan Rouhani took a slightly harder line, saying Saudi Arabia's move to sever ties with his country couldn't "cover its crime" of executing Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.


BAHRAIN -- The tiny, Shiite-majority island kingdom off the Saudi coast, which long has relied on Riyadh for support of its Sunni rulers, was the first to cut ties with Iran and has also halted flights. Bahraini officials repeatedly have accused Iran of training militants and attempting to smuggle arms into the country, which hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

SUDAN -- The African nation cut diplomatic ties to Iran and gave Iranian diplomats two weeks to leave the country. Sudan once tilted toward Iran, but has been looking to Saudi Arabia for aid since the secession of oil-rich South Sudan in 2011.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- The oil-rich country of seven emirates says it will reduce the number of diplomats in Iran, recall its ambassador and focus only on business relations. While backing Saudi Arabia, it may have chosen to reduce -- rather than completely sever ties -- because of a long trading history with Iran.

KUWAIT -- The oil-rich country is recalling of its ambassador from Tehran, but it isn't immediately clear how Kuwaiti-Iranian diplomatic ties will be affected. Tiny Kuwait is home to both Shiites and Sunnis living in peace and has the most free-wheeling political system among all Gulf nations.

JORDAN: Overwhelmingly Sunni Jordan is a close ally of Saudi Arabia in the region and a beneficiary of Gulf aid. Jordan's government spokesman, Mohammed Momani, has condemned the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Iran.

EGYPT: Visiting Riyadh on Tuesday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry denounced the attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran and said Iran's behaviour after al-Nimr's execution amounts to "intervening in the kingdom's internal affairs." Cairo has been closely allied with Riyadh since the Egyptian military overthrew an Islamist president in 2013. Riyadh has provided billions in aid to Egypt since then.

THE ARAB LEAGUE: The body denounced the attacks on the diplomatic missions and reminded Iran of the importance of "not interfering in the internal affairs of an Arab nation," according to a statement carried by Egypt's official MENA news agency.


OMAN -- The sultanate has long historical ties to Iran and served as the base for secret talks between Iranian and U.S. officials that jump-started the international deal reached on Iran's contested nuclear program.


LEBANESE HEZBOLLAH MOVEMENT -- Hezbollah was founded in 1982 with the help of Iran's Revolutionary Guard after Israel invaded Lebanon. The group is one the main Iran-backed factions in the region.

SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD -- Iran has been one of the biggest supporters of Syria since the 1980s and has stood by Assad's government in his country's grinding civil war. Saudi Arabia has been one of the biggest backers of those trying to overthrow him.

IRAQ'S SHIITE-LED GOVERNMENT -- Al-Nimr's execution sparked outrage among the country's majority Shiites who have taken to the streets in Baghdad and the south, calling for an end to ties with Saudi Arabia. The Shiite-led government has warmed Riyadh that such executions "would lead to nothing but more destruction."


ISRAEL -- Israel considers Iran to be its greatest regional threat because of its nuclear program, its arsenal of long-range missiles, its support of anti-Israel militant groups and its repeated threats to destroy it. While Israel has no direct ties to Saudi Arabia, the countries have a shared concern over Iran's growing influence.

THE PALESTINIANS -- The Palestinian Authority issued a statement after the execution of al-Nimr saying that it stands alongside the Saudis in their fight against "terrorism." The Saudis are the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority in the Arab world, providing them some $200 million annually. The PA, and the Fatah faction that leads it, has had a strained relationship with Iran because of its support of its rival, Hamas.

YEMEN -- The Arab world's poorest country is torn by a civil war pitting its internationally recognized government, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, against Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who are supported by Iran.


THE UNITED NATIONS -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to support peace efforts in Syria and Yemen and avoid escalating tensions.

EUROPEAN UNION: The 28-nation bloc, which opposes the death penalty, criticized Saudi Arabia's mass executions and said al-Nimr's case undermined freedom of expression and basic political rights in the kingdom. Since tensions flared between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the EU foreign policy chief has had phone contact with both sides, fearing an escalation would further destabilize the whole region.

THE UNITED STATES -- The White House has urged Saudi Arabia and Iran to not let their dispute derail efforts to end the Syrian civil war. President Barack Obama's administration also hopes to see the Iranian nuclear deal through.

UNITED KINGDOM -- Britain and Iran reopened their respective embassies in 2015, four years after hard-line protesters stormed the British embassy in Tehran. Saudi Arabia is a key diplomatic and economic ally of Britain, though Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood said Britain told the kingdom about its "disappointment at the mass executions."

TURKEY -- Turkey has urged both Saudi Arabia and Iran to ease tensions, saying the Middle East region is "already like a powder keg" and cannot withstand a new crisis.

GERMANY -- Berlin has called on Saudi Arabia and Iran to work to mend their diplomatic ties, while condemning both the mass executions in the kingdom and the storming of the Saudi missions in Iran.

RUSSIA -- State news agency RIA Novosti quoted an unnamed senior diplomat as saying Moscow is ready to act as a mediator between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It's unclear whether Russian officials have made a formal offer to work with the two nations.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Oland's Supreme Court bail case expected to proceed, no matter what happens with murder conviction ruling

    Canada News CBC News
    Dennis Oland's bail appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada is expected to proceed on Oct. 31, even if a decision from the New Brunswick Court of Appeal on his second-degree murder conviction makes the hearing a moot point for him. Source
  • University groups try to stave off offensive Halloween costumes

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Geishas are out. Feathered headdresses are forbidden. And if you're planning to wear a Bill Cosby or Caitlyn Jenner costume, you may not be welcome at your Halloween party of choice. A growing number of institutions are starting to take a more proactive approach to potentially offensive outfits by developing strategies and even explicit policies to prevent people from donning controversial getups. Source
  • Widows of Boko Haram victims say aid overdue to Nigeria

    World News CTV News
    MAIDUGURI, Nigeria -- After her husband was killed by a Boko Haram suicide bomber late last year, Hajjagana Mbasaru was forced to pull her children from school and rely on friends to feed them. Like other widows of civilians fighting the Islamic extremists in northern Nigeria, she spent long months waiting for any kind of government support. Source
  • Thousands flood Cameroon hospitals in search of injured from train crash

    World News CTV News
    YAOUNDE, Cameroon -- Thousands of Cameroonians have been flooding hospitals in the capital, Yaounde, and the largest city, Douala, looking for corpses and survivors after an overloaded train derailed Friday, killing more than 70 people and injuring 600. Source
  • Russian police kill 2 terror suspects, recover bomb: reports

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Russian news reports say police have killed two suspected terrorists in a shootout in a central Russian city and that a bomb was found in the suspects' car. The reports on state television and state news agencies RIA Novosti and Tass said the shooting started Sunday afternoon when police stopped a suspicious vehicle in Nizhny Novgorod, a city 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of Moscow. Source
  • Trump's agenda overshadowed by lawsuit threats, accusations, personal spats

    World News CTV News
    GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- Donald Trump is laying out an ambitious agenda for his first 100 days as president but pointedly noting that he will find time to sue the numerous women who have accused him of groping and other unwanted sexual behaviour. Source
  • Ballot selfies: Personal choice or illegal act?

    World News CTV News
    TRENTON, N.J. -- Most Americans probably already know whether they'll vote for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton on Election Day, leaving one important question to consider when they walk into their polling places: Is it OK to take a picture of the ballot? Source
  • Iraqi, Kurdish forces join to drive ISIS from Mosul

    World News CBC News
    Iraqi and Kurdish forces launched a new offensive Sunday on a town near Mosul as part of a massive operation aimed at retaking the country's second largest city from the Islamic State group. The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, said they launched a dawn offensive on two fronts to the northeast of Mosul, near the town of Bashiqa. Source
  • Rafferty to appeal Tori Stafford murder conviction

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The man convicted of killing eight-year-old Victoria Stafford seven years ago will ask Ontario's top court for a new trial Monday, trying to pin the blame on his accomplice. Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 with no chance of parole for 25 years for kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in the death of the Woodstock, Ont. Source
  • N.B. village still cut off weeks after excavator fell through bridge

    Canada News CTV News
    An excavator that fell through a historic bridge in New Brunswick earlier this month is still there, raising safety concerns for those in the area. The excavator remains in the same place where it fell, leaving the 102-year-old covered bridge in French Village, N.B. Source