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Iran court acquits defendants in Saudi mission attack case

Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Iran’s second biggest city Mashhad were stormed and burned on January 2

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Iran’s judiciary acquitted more than 40 defendants charged over the January attack on the Saudi mission in Tehran, according to news report.

‘ILNA’ or the Iran labor news agency announced that the Clerical and Government Employees’ Courts cleared all 45 defendants - 20 members of Basij militia and 25 clerics – of the charges of storming and ransacking the embassy.

The defendants contended that police and internal security forces did not prevent them from entering the embassy, confirming an assertion made previously by the attack mastermind, the hard-line cleric Hassan Kard Mayhn.

Mayhn divulged in an open letter addressed to Iran President Hassan Rowhani last August, that police forces facilitated the attackers' access to the embassy.

ILNA quoted Mustafa Shabani, the defense lawyer as saying the court sentenced some of the defendants to three to six months in jail on charges of “disturbing public order.”

Shabani added the court verdict is subject to appeal.

Iranian authorities arrested over 154 suspects following the Saudi mission attack, and all were released on bail in March.

The Saudi embassy in Tehran and its consulate in Iran’s second biggest city Mashhad were stormed and burned on January 2.