Iran suspended Flights to Saudi Arabia
Irans Culture Minister Ali Jannati confirmed Monday that Iran has grounded flights to Saudi Arabia for the year-round Umrah pilgrimage, alleging sexual abuse of two Iranian boys at Saudi Airport by security officers.
Ali Jannati said that that Iran has pursued the issue diplomatically and Saudi officials had affirmed to prosecute the two arrested culprits with capital punishment, but nothing has happened yet.
The teenage boys alleged last week that the officers abused them while conducting a security search at Jeddah airport.
"Until these guilty people are put on trial and punished, the Umrah will be stopped and Iranian flights will be suspended," the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) cited Jannati as saying.
Iran's move will increase the tension in the region where Saudi Arabia is overwhelmed fighting Houthi Rebels in Yemen. The two countries are already not on very good terms, the current incident would bring in futher distant the two making it difficult to bring a resolve to the Yemen's Crisis.
Several hundred protesters marched on the Saudi embassy in Tehran on Saturday, despite a ban on public demonstrations.
Jannati said the Saudi authorities had arrested the perpetrators and promised to punish them, ISNA reported.
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