By Joanna Paraszczuk and Golnaz Esfandiari | ( RFE/RL ) | – –
Cartoonists on each side of an Iranian-Saudi diplomatic dispute are highlighting what they perceive as the other's double standards.
The confrontation over Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric has sent tensions between the regional rivals soaring. Nimr al-Nimr's execution on terrorism charges on January 2 led to angry protests in Iran, including an attack on the Saudi Embassy that prompted Saudi Arabia and several of its allies to cut or downgrade ties with Tehran.
In this sample of cartoons, the predominant Saudi view could be summed up as: "Iran opposes Islamic State while fueling terrorism," and the Iranian view as: "Saudi Arabia claims to fight Islamic State while executing innocents, just like IS."
Here are two offerings from Iranian cartoonist Mana Neyestani:
— IranWire (@IranWire1) January 4, 2016
— kotiomkin (@Kotiomkin) January 6, 2016
This image appears on the website of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei:
These two, from the Tasnim news agency, play on Nimr's status as a martyr in Iran…
…while Fars used crude stereotypes showing Israel behind Nimr's execution — and harming itself in the process — as has been asserted by some Iranian officials:
The cover of Iranian reformist weekly Seda shows Saudi King Salman and his reflection — Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi…
— Sobhan Hassanvand (@Hassanvand) January 7, 2016
…while this anti-Tehran cartoon puts Baghdadi under the same turban as Khamenei.
— . (@Johani_Ahmad) January 5, 2016
A cartoon in the Saudi daily Okaz shows the restraining hand of Riyadh holding back an Iran bent on wreaking havoc throughout the region:
In this one, an Iranian feeds birds in a nest marked "terrorism":
— كاريكاتير السعودية (@Cartoon_ar) January 6, 2016
Here, the Islamic State group gives first aid to Iran:
This image shows Iran above ground as portrayed in the media, while below lurks Iran "in reality." Its tentacles include "treachery," "subjugation," and "aggression":
— عبدالله صايل (@abdullahsayel) January 6, 2016
Here, the bottom caption says "Urgent, the coalition is killing civilians":
— إعلاميو الشرقية (@e3lamyu_alsharq) January 6, 2016
Finally, this, via RFE/RL's Radio Farda, reminds the reader that Tehran — while crying foul over Nimr's fate — has jailed hundreds of its own domestic critics:
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