Saudis Mock Iranians After Embassy Sacking In Tehran

Rancor from both sides of the dispute has spilled over onto social media, as Saudis take aim at their detractors

Iranian protesters hold pictures of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. — (REUTERS)
Jan 04, 2016 at 2:28 PM ET

A picture of an Iranian man leaving the wrecked Saudi embassy in Tehran with a telephone has become a new focal point for online mockery.

Protesters ransacked the embassy in Tehran on Saturday, after a Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, and dozens of others were executed by Saudi Arabia for crimes related to terrorism. Saudi Arabia cut off relations with Iran and, on Monday, announced the severing of commercial relations and a travel ban. Several other countries have joined the Kingdom, but Saudis, recoiling from the global backlash, chose to focus on the lone protester with what appeared to be an office phone in his hand, as one way to ridicule their regional rivals.

Translation: Funny campaign from today

On Twitter, Saudis circulated the hashtag “BringBackOurPhoneKhomeiniCampaign,” posting memes about the Iranians and their protests. Using our technology, Vocativ found that the hashtag garnered over 35,000 tweets over several hours and spread to other Gulf countries.  ي حرامية التلفونات ي بتاعين المتعة..#حمله_رجع_تلفوننا_ياخاميني 

Translation: Phone thieves

Translation: The new Iranian flag

“It isn’t strange for Iranians to loot,” wrote one Saudi user. Others accused Iran of being “a terror state that causes unrest in the Gulf.” “Iran proved that it is not a state, but a gang of thugs against the Sunnis,” wrote another one. The online dispute is only one aspect of the regional dispute, which continues to ripple around the world. Reuters reported that Iran accused Saudi Arabia of using the attack on its embassy as a pretext to sever ties, leading other Sunni Muslim countries including Bahrain and Sudan to also cut off diplomatic relations.