Issue 337 - 17 May 1988
Some eight years of steadily worsening relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia culminated last month with the kingdom's decision to sever diplomatic ties with Tehran. Saudi Arabia's official reasons for the break refer to Iran's "hostile attitudes and practices" and singles out the mob attack on the kingdom's embassy in Tehran and an Iranian attempt two years ago to smuggle explosives into the country, using the Iranian pilgrim contingent as cover, as prime causes for its action. But even a semblance of any cordiality in the relationship between the two countries was ended with the violence which broke out in Makkah during last year's Haj ceremonies, resulting, according to Saudi Arabia, in the deaths of 402 people.

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