Flames rise from Saudi Arabia's embassy after it was stormed by Iranian protesters during a demonstration in Tehran, Iran, January 2, 2016. REUTERS/TIMA/Mehdi Ghasemi/ISNA
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Nine people accused of storming Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January appeared in a Tehran court Monday, Fars news agency reported, a few weeks after President Hassan Rouhani urged the judiciary to take action.Twelve other suspects were absent from the first hearing, Fars said.Sunni Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic relations with its Shiite rival Iran after protesters stormed the kingdom's embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite religious figure.The Iranian government promptly condemned the assault and Rouhani, keen to improve Tehran's long-strained relations with neighbors and the West, asked the judiciary to punish the protesters and prevent further attacks on diplomatic missions.Iran's judiciary announced in April that more than 100 suspects had been arrested over the attack on the Saudi missions and 48 had been charged.
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