Hardline senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Jannati (L) pictured in Tehran in May
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (C) sits between Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) and hardline senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Jannati (L) during a religious ceremony to commemorate the death of Fatima, daughter of Prophet Mohammed, in Tehran in May, in a photo released by the official website of the Iranian supreme leader's office in May 2011. © - AFP/Iranian Supreme Leader's Office/File
Hardline senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Jannati (L) pictured in Tehran in May
AFP
Last updated: November 25, 2011

Top Iran cleric: Saudi dynasty should leave power

Saudi Arabia's ruling Al-Saud dynasty should give up power, a hardline senior Iranian cleric said Friday, warning that the fate of Egypt's toppled president Hosni Mubarak awaits Saudi King Abdullah.

"You should give up power and leave it to the people. They will establish a people's government," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said in the weekly Muslim prayers at Tehran University.

"It is better for the Al-Saud to awaken. The fate of the Egyptian pharaoh (Hosni Mubarak) and that of the (fallen) strongmen in Libya and Tunisia, ultimately, awaits the Saudi pharaoh (King Abdullah)... You should be careful," he said, as worshippers chanted "Death to Al-Saud."

His remarks, broadcast on state radio, follow protests this week among the Shiite minority in Saudi Arabia's oil-rich east, resulting in four deaths since Sunday.

Shiite activists in Arab states of the Gulf are frequently accused of having links with their co-religionists in the Islamic republic.

On Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal accused Iran of interfering in neighbouring Gulf states.

Tensions have heightened between Tehran and Riyadh following a US allegations of an Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, something Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Another point of contention between the two has been the Saudi military intervention in March in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom of Bahrain to help its government quash pro-democracy protests led by the Shiite majority there.

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