Jeremy Corbyn is under pressure to personally condemn Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro amid violence in the South American state that has seen the families of British embassy staff withdrawn.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said a mob attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran earlier had “hurt” the Islamic Republic, in a speech that also praised officials who secured the lifting of sanctions over the weekend. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran after protesters stormed the mission in response to the execution by Saudi authorities of a prominent Shiite cleric on Jan. 2, deepening tensions between two powers on opposing sides in many of the region’s conflicts.
Iraq has offered to act as a mediator to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran that escalated after the kingdom’s execution of a Shiite cleric and attacks on two of Saudi diplomatic posts in the Islamic Republic. Some Sunni Arab nations have followed the Saudis’ lead and severed or downgraded ties with Iran, while others have offered words of caution aimed at calming the situation. The offer by Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, made during a news conference in the Iranian capital, included the diplomat referring to the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as a “crime”, a description that raised questions as to whether Saudi officials would even consider such an offer. The kingdom and its allies say that Mr al-Nimr was executed after being tried and sentenced to death under Saudi law.
There are several reasons why escalating tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia make markets nervous. One of them is that they sit on either side of the Persian Gulf, the world’s biggest concentration of oil tankers.