Obama administration officials expressed "direct concerns" to Saudi officials about the potential consequences of executing a prominent Shiite cleric and other individuals, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. "This is a concern that we raised with the Saudis in advance," Earnest told reporters. "Unfortunately the concerns that we expressed to the Saudis have precipitated the kinds of consequences that we were concerned about," Earnest said. Saudi Arabia executed cleric Nemer al-Nemer on Saturday, sparking protests by Iranians. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday.
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