Iranian preacher arrested over Saudi embassy attack

Groups of Iranians protested at the Saudi embassy after the execution of the preacher Nimr al-Nimr in the kingdom (File Photo: AP)

Iranian authorities have arrested the cleric and preacher Hassan Kurdmihan amid allegations that he lead the attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, following the execution of the Saudi Shiite preacher Nimr al-Nimr earlier in January.

It is claimed that Kurdmihan, who is also the director of religious institutions in Tehran and Karaj, was involved in the attack that saw angry crowds set fire to the building.

Member of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign affairs commission, Mohammadreza Mohseni Sani said Kurdmihan was arrested after returning to Iran from Syria where he had been serving in the ranks of the Revolutionary Guard fighting alongside forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad.

But the Assistant of the Interior Minister for Security Affairs Hussein Dhulfaqari had previously said the “mastermind” of the embassy attack “was detained by Iranian security forces outside Iran;” without disclosing their name.

Dhulfaqari added the attack on the embassy was “an operation previously planned by a group well-known for its religious activities.”

Often referred to as the “young preacher,” Kurdmihan, is linked to Ansar Hezbollah and has created a number of religious committees in Tehran’s various districts.

Ansar Hezbollah which was established in 1995 and receives financial support from some Revolutionary Guard leaders and other high-ranking officials.

Mohseni Sani says Kurdmihan has been backed by a number of institutions, but did not disclose which they were.

His arrest comes along with at least 100 others connected to the attacks on the Saudi embassy and consulate, although according to the Iranian judiciary some have already been released.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:46 - GMT 06:46