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US urges Mideast leaders to take 'steps to calm tensions'

Tehran's police chief Hossein Sajedinia (C) asks protesters to end their rally against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi authorities, and leave the area outside the Saudi embassy on January 3, 2016, in TehranThe United States on Sunday urged Mideast leaders to take measures to soothe tensions in the region after Saudi Arabia executed a Shiite cleric, provoking outrage from Iran. The execution was followed by an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran, prompting Riyadh to sever ties. “We’re aware that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has ordered the closure of Iranian diplomatic missions in the kingdom,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said about the diplomatic rift.

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