Iran, Saudi Arabia Step Up War of Words Over Executed Shiite Cleric

Flames and smoke poured out of Saudi Arabia's embassy in Iran on Sunday amid a mounting backlash to the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric, NBC News reported.

Saudi Arabia announced Saturday that 47 prisoners had been executed — including Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. The news sparked fears of sectarian violence and deepening tensions between two bitter rivals: Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite powerhouse Iran.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded with fury to the execution, calling it a "huge crime" that Saudi Arabia will face "divine revenge" for.

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