Iran’s High Council for Human Rights says the “assault” on two young Iranian pilgrims by Saudi guards in Jeddah Airport was triggered by an edict issued by one of the city’s sheikhs, which it calls part of a “systematic and highly dangerous trend”.

Head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights

Head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights

The council’s statement maintains that the person who issued the edict has said that such assaults are “permissible and acceptable”.

The statement from Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, issued on Tuesday April 14, calls on the Saudi government to “look beyond the two perpetrating guards and take firm and preventive steps against all individuals who promote and support such behaviour.”

The council says it reserves the right to follow up the matter through the United Nations and the Committee on the Rights of the Child.