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

  • Academic says he's being scapegoated in Facebook data case

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- An academic who developed an app used by Cambridge Analytica to harvest data from millions of Facebook users said Wednesday he had no idea his material would be used in Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and that he's being scapegoated in the affair. Source
  • Aging Vancouver home listed for $6.98M

    Canada News CTV News
    Sure it’s nearly 100 years old, rundown, with fencing covered in mildew and moss. But it’s the location, location, location that could make a family home up for sale in downtown Vancouver worth its nearly $7-million price tag. Source
  • Service Canada moves away from calling Canadians Mr., Mrs., or Miss

    Canada News CBC News
    Service Canada employees who interact with the public are being asked to stay away from terms like Mr., Mrs., father and mother, and to use gender-neutral terms in their place, CBC News has learned. According to documents obtained by Radio Canada, the French-language arm of CBC, front-line staff must now "use gender-neutral language or gender-inclusive language. Source
  • Aides told Trump not to congratulate Putin on win: report

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump called Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his re-election, drawing bruising criticism from members of his own party, including a leading senator who scorned the election as a "sham. Source
  • Focus turns to missing in Bruce McArthur case

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Judi Riley's 47-year-old brother vanished while on a trip to Toronto nearly five years ago. Her family filed a police report and repeatedly prodded authorities for updates. But there were no leads, until now. Source
  • Israel's warning to enemies confirms destruction of 2007 Syria nuclear reactor

    World News CBC News
    The Israeli military confirmed Wednesday it carried out the 2007 airstrike in Syria that destroyed what was believed to be a nuclear reactor, lifting the veil of secrecy over one of its most daring and mysterious operations in recent memory. Source
  • 'We're not over land': WestJet passengers recount emergency landing in smoke-filled cabin

    Canada News CTV News
    A WestJet flight from Vancouver to Nanaimo, B.C. was evacuated on the tarmac after smoke filled the cabin moments before landing. Flight 3161 declared an emergency as it descended towards Nanaimo Airport on Thursday afternoon. Source
  • Trump legal woes grow on separate fronts involving women accusers

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump faced legal challenges from women on two fronts on Tuesday as a defamation lawsuit brought by a former Apprentice TV show contestant moved forward and a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump sued to undo a confidentiality agreement. Source
  • First lady vows to fight cyberbullying despite skeptics

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Pushing back against her critics, Melania Trump said Tuesday she's committed to fighting cyberbullying despite the knocks she's gotten for taking on the issue when her husband regularly uses Twitter to berate his foes and call them names. Source
  • Dozens of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram are released

    World News CBC News
    Boko Haram extremists returned most of the 110 girls abducted from their Nigeria boarding school a month ago with an ominous warning, witnesses said Wednesday. The fighters rolled into Dapchi around 2 a.m. in nine vehicles and the girls were left in the centre of town. Source