Alleged 'mastermind' of Saudi embassy attack appointed to Iran's judo federation

Alleged 'mastermind' of Saudi embassy attack appointed to Iran's judo federation
Iranian media had named Shia cleirc Hassan Kordmihan as a 'mastermind' behind the attack on the Saudi embassy in 2016.
2 min read
30 December, 2020
Hassan Kordmihan will head the cultural committee of Iran's judo federation's [Twitter]

The alleged mastermind of a 2016 attack on Saudi Arabia's embassy in Iran has been appointed head of a cultural committee for the country's judo federation, local media have reported.

Hassan Kordmihan, a Shia cleric, will additionally serve as adviser to the federation's president, according to the Iranian martial arts body.

Kordmihan was among nearly 100 arrested after the Saudi embassy was stormed and set alight by angry protesters in 2016.

It came after Riyadh's authorities executed outspoken Shia cleric and activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on terrorism charges.

The embassy attack coincided with a similar raid on the Saudi consulate in the northeast city of Mashhad, leading to the severing of relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The events were officially condemned by Tehran at the time, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling on his country's judiciary to prosecute those involved, calling their actions "totally unjustified".

Read more: Iranian president seeks punishment for Saudi embassy attackers

Domestic media named Kordmihan as a "mastermind" behind the supposedly premeditated attack, after a government official said that an individual outside the country had directed the protesters.

He was arrested on his return from Syria, where Iran-backed forces have fought alongside Bashar Al-Assad's troops, according to local media.

His trial went on behind closed doors at a specialised court for cases in which the accused is a cleric.

It remains unclear whether Kordmihan was ever charged, but of the dozens of people arrested in the aftermath of storming of the Saudi embassy, 21 went on trial.

Some defendants were handed three to six-month jail terms and others were acquitted.

Kordmihan, who reportedly owns a Lebanese restaurant in Tehran, is said to be close to high-level Iranian hardliners, including Mohammed-Bagher Ghalibaf, the current speaker of Tehran's parliament.

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