Tehran seeks to ‘divide the world,’ says Saudi Arabia’s Adel Al-Jubeir

22/09/19

Saudi-led investigations so far show that Iranian weapons were used, attack came from the north
Kingdom consulting with allies to “take necessary steps”
RIYADH: Attacks last week on Saudi oil facilities were “an attack against all mankind” and Iran was trying to divide the world, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs said on Saturday.

Al-Jubeir said the attacks were undertaken with Iranian weapons and it was for this reason that Iran should be held accountable for the incident, adding: “We are certain that the attacks did not come from Yemen but from the north. Investigations will prove that.”

“The Iranian position is to try to divide the world and in that it is not succeeding, he said.

In a press conference held in the Saudi capital, Al-Jubeir also said that the attacks on Aramco facilities were also targeting global energy security and that Saudi Arabia would take appropriate steps to respond if investigations confirm that Iran is responsible.

“The Kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability,” Al-Jubeir said.

“Saudi Arabia has taken a defensive stance, as opposed to Iran which has fired 260 Iranian-made ballistic missiles through its militias, and more than 150 drones.

The Kingdom, unlike Iran, has not fired a missile, a drone or a bullet toward Iran. This demonstrates that we seek good while they seek evil.

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs

“The Kingdom, unlike Iran, has not fired a missile, a drone or a bullet toward Iran. This demonstrates that we seek good while they seek evil,” he said.

Saudi Arabia has rejected claims from Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis that they carried out the strikes, the largest-ever assault on Saudi oil facilities in the world’s top oil exporter. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia is consulting with its allies to “take the necessary steps”, Al-Jubeir said, urging the international community to take a stand.

“The Kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility in condemning those that stand behind this act, and to take a firm and clear position against this reckless behavior that threatens the global economy,” he said.

More than 80 countries have condemned the attacks, he said.

The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Saturday any country that attacked Iran would become a battlefield, after the US ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following last week’s attacks.

Washington approved the deployment to Saudi Arabia at “the Kingdom’s request,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, and the forces would be focused on air and missile defense. IRGC commander Major General Hossein Salami said: “Whoever wants their land to become the main battlefield, go ahead. We will never allow any war to encroach upon Iran’s territory.”

The US this week imposed more sanctions on Iran and approved the sending of American troops to the region.

(With agencies)

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Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated, Pompeo tweets after meeting with Saudi crown prince

Time: September 19, 2019  

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday described strikes on key Saudi oil installations as an “act of war” as he landed in Jeddah to meet with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Reuters)
  • Pompeo described the drone and cruise missile strikes on Saturday as an ‘Iranian attack’
  • Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

JEDDAH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said Iranian strikes on key Saudi oil installations will not go unpunished as he reaffirmed his country’s support for Saudi Arabia in a meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The U.S. stands with #SaudiArabia and supports its right to defend itself. The Iranian regime’s threatening behavior will not be tolerated,” Pompeo tweeted after the meeting in Jeddah.

Pompeo stressed during the meeting that the US supports the steps taken by the Saudi Arabia for international experts to investigate the source of the attacks on Saudi Aramco in Abqaiq and Khurais on Sept. 14, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Houthi militias in Yemen had initially claimed responsibility for the drone and cruise missile strikes, but Pompeo said it was an “Iranian attack”.

He said the strikes had not come from the Iran-backed Houthi militants and that there was no evidence the attacks had been launched from Iraq.

“This is an attack of a scale we’ve just not seen before,” he added.

For his part, the Crown Prince stressed during the meeting that these attacks were aimed at destabilizing the region’s security and damaging global energy supplies and economy.

The meeting was attended by Prince Khalid bin Salman, Deputy Minister of Defense, and Dr. Musaed AlAiban, State Minister and Member of Council of Ministers, as well as the US Ambassador in Riyadh John Abizaid.

Pompeo was met at Jeddah airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf.

Pompeo’s visit comes as President Donald Trump said on Wednesday there were many options short of war with Iran after Saudi Arabia’s display of remnants of drones and missiles it said were used in the I that was “unquestionably sponsored” by Tehran.

“There are many options. There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that. And we’ll see,” Trump told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m saying the ultimate option meaning go in — war.”

Trump, who earlier said on Twitter that he had ordered the US Treasury to “substantially increase” sanctions on Iran, told reporters the unspecified, punitive economic measures would be unveiled within 48 hours.

Trump’s tweet followed repeated US assertions that the Islamic Republic was behind Saturday’s attack on Aramco facilities and came hours after Saudi Arabia said the strike was a “test of global will.”

Earlier on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he had spoken with US President Donald Trump about the Aramco attack, and agreed that Iran must not be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon.

Also on Wednesday, Kuwait’s army released a statement announcing it was raising its preparedness level for some units, given the tensions in the Middle East region.

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Condemnation of attacks on Saudi Aramco oil plants continue

17/09/19

Bahraini King calls Saudi leadership
RIYADH: Condemnations of Saturday’s attack on Saudi Aramco oil installations continued on Monday, as the US pointed out Iran as the likely culprit behind the drone strikes that have dramatically escalated tensions in the region and triggered a record leap in global oil prices.

King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman both received calls from the King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain to condemn the attacks at Saudi oil facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper called the crown prince, who is also the defense minister, to affirm his country’s full support for the Kingdom.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “We will work with international partners to forge the widest and most effective response,” with a statement from his ministry saying the “UK remains committed to supporting the security of Saudi Arabia.”

India also slammed the attacks and reiterated the country’s “rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Official Spokesperson of the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said in a statement that the Secretary General condemns Saturday’s attacks on two Aramco oil plants.

The German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said, “Such an attack on civilian and vital infrastructure in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not justified”.

— with SPA

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UAE says Khamenei meeting proves Houthis are Iran’s proxy

Time: August 15, 2019  

Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Mohammed Abdul-Salam of the Houthi militants in Tehran on Tuesday. (AP)
  • State TV showed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praising the militants Tuesday, as he met a Houthi negotiator
  • ‘The Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology,’ said UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash

LONDON: A meeting between a Houthi official and Iran’s Supreme Leader proves “in black and white” that the Yemeni militants are an Iranian proxy, a senior Emirati said Wednesday.

State TV showed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praising the militants Tuesday, as he met the Houthi negotiator, Mohammed Abdul-Salam. Iran has long been accused of supporting the group, which sparked the war in 2014 when they seized the capital Sanaa.

 

د. أنور قرقاش

@AnwarGargash

Houthi relations with Iran, for long in search for proper designation, is clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei. Stated in black & white in their statement of fealty the Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology.

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Houthi relations with Iran are “clearer following their leadership’s meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei,” the UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter. The relationship was “stated in black and white in their statement of fealty,” he added. “The Houthis are a proxy and that is the correct terminology.”

Iran’s support for the Houthis and supply of weapons is regarded as one of the key reasons the war in Yemen has lasted so long. An Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia, is supporting troops loyal to the internationally recognized government against the Houthis.

The meeting in Tehran is the first time Khamenei has held talks with a senior Houthi representative, Reuters reported.

“I declare my support for the resistance of Yemen’s believing men and women … Yemen’s people… will establish a strong government,” Khamenei said.

Yemen’s government and the Arab coalition accuse the Houthis of collapsing previous UN-sponsored talks to find a political settlement to the conflict.

Saudi Arabia and its allies say Iran’s support of proxy militias in the region, including Hezbollah in Lebanon and groups in Iraq, is the main cause of instability in the region.

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Saudi crown prince, Pompeo discuss maritime security, Iran

Time: August 08, 2019  

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (File/SPA)
  • Tensions have heightened after attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed maritime security, Iran and Yemen with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a phone call on Wednesday.
“The secretary discussed heightened tensions in the region and the need for stronger maritime security in order to promote freedom of navigation,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
Iran has seized three tanker ships in strategic Gulf waters in less than a month, and the United States has accused it of carrying out multiple attacks on ships in the region.
The US has been struggling to piece together an international coalition to protect cargo ships traveling through the Gulf, with allies concerned about being dragged into conflict with Iran.
Ortagus also said that the top US diplomat and the crown prince “discussed other bilateral and regional developments, including countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities.”

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Iranian pilgrim’s sight saved by Saudi doctors in Makkah

Time: August 03, 2019

A surgical team at King Abdullah Medical City has restored the eyesight of a 58-year-old Iranian pilgrim. (Photo/Asharq Al-Awsat)
  • King Abdullah Medical City’s neurosciences center carries out numerous rare operations with a high success rate

JEDDAH: A surgical team at Makkah’s King Abdullah Medical City (KAMC) has successfully removed a tumor from a 58-year-old Iranian pilgrim.

The tumor was discovered in the pilgrim’s pituitary gland. It was severely affecting his sight and required urgent surgery. It was performed by surgical teams from the neurology department and the otorhinolaryngology department, the Ministry of Health reported.

The patient was received at King Faisal Hospital, where he underwent a series of medical tests to identify the type of tumor he had and to measure his hormone levels.

The results confirmed the presence of visual impairment in both eyes, a damaged third cerebral nerve and a damaged sixth cerebral nerve in both eyes.

“During the surgery, the tumor was completely removed without complications” the ministry said. “The patient recovered and his eyesight improved with partial improvement in the nerves’ condition. He will be transferred from the intensive care unit to a room after his condition becomes stable.”

The pilgrim, Mehdi Mueen, spoke to Al-Ekhbariya News after the successful operation.

“I had a headache and could not open my left eye,” he said. “Thank God I feel better now.”

Only three days have passed since Mueen’s condition was identified as critical by doctors and he was operated on.

BACKGROUND

  • The Saudi government has provided many services to pilgrims to facilitate their pilgrimage.
  • It has equipped the hospitals of Makkah and the holy sites with highly qualified medical and technical personnel.
  • The Ministry of Health is providing all medical services and improve existing ones in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.

Dr. Sultan Al-Seiari, neurosurgery consultant at King Abdullah Medical City, carried out the surgery with a team of specialists.

He said that the pituitary tumor was a bleeding type of growth that had affected the man’s sight and caused visual impairment.

“The case was accepted expeditiously, and within two to three hours the patient was in intensive neurological care,” he told Al-Ekhbariya News.

“The surgery was performed immediately, and the tumor was removed almost completely.”

A doctor with the Iranian Hajj campaign, Dr. Kamal Nazer, said that the patient’s family was worried and had discussed with the doctors if the surgery could be postponed until Mueen was back in Iran. “We reassured his family and wife, and they accepted making the operation in Makkah, thankfully,” he said.

The Saudi government has provided many services to pilgrims to facilitate their pilgrimage.

It has equipped the hospitals of Makkah and the holy sites with highly qualified medical and technical personnel.

The Ministry of Health is providing all medical services and improving existing ones in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.

KAMC’s neurosciences center carries out numerous qualitative and specialized rare operations, similar to those performed around the world, with a high success rate.

It is capable of dealing with the most complex and difficult cases during the Hajj season.

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Tehran blamed for Yemen carnage after scores die in parade attack

Time: August 02, 2019  

Yemeni security forces carrying a body at the scene of a missile attack on a military camp west of Yemen’s government-held second city Aden. (AFP)
  • Two separate attacks killed and wounded dozens in Aden
  • One claimed by the Houthis and the other believed to be by militants

The two separate attacks in Aden – one claimed by the Houthis – killed and wounded dozens on Thursday, security sources reported.

A Reuters witness saw nine bodies on the ground after an explosion hit a military camp belonging to the Yemeni Security Belt forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, which is a member of the Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthis.

The attack killed at least 49 people, a health ministry official said. Medecins Sans Frontieres tweeted that tens of wounded people were hospitalized.

Soldiers screamed and ran to lift the wounded and place them on trucks. Red berets lay on the ground in pools of blood.

The Houthi’s official channel Al Masirah TV said the group had launched a medium-range ballistic missile and an armed drone at the parade, which it described as being staged in preparation for a military move against provinces held by the movement.

The parade “was being used to prepare for an advance on Taiz and Dalea”, Masirah cited a Houthi military spokesman as saying.

A pro-government military source and security sources said a commander, Brigadier General Muneer Al-Yafee, a leading figure of the southern separatists, was among those killed.

“The blast occurred behind the stand where the ceremony was taking place at Al Jalaa military camp in Buraiqa district in Aden,” the Reuters witness said. “A group of soldiers were crying over a body believed to be of the commander.”

Yafee had just stepped off the stage to greet a guest when the explosion took place. Flags of the former South Yemen and those of leading coalition members were fluttering as the military band was waiting for its cue to start playing.

In a separate attack in another district of Aden on Thursday, an explosives-laden car blew up at a police station in the city’s Omar al-Mokhtar neighborhood, killing three soldiers.

Sources say at least 20 people were wounded, including three civilians.

The bomber drove into the police station’s gates shortly before the morning police lineup before the start of the workday.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to reporters and the witnesses declined to identify themselves for fear of reprisals.

Saudi Arabia’s envoy to Yemen accused Iran of being behind the attack on the military parade.

Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jabir, in a Twitter post, also blamed Iran for the attack on a police station.

The Houthi attack on Aden is a strong indicator of their unified goals with Daesh and Al-Qaeda, the envoy said.

Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed, in separate tweets, said the attacks were coordinated under “Iran’s administration”.

He addded that the Houthis continue to implement the agendas of Iran.

It was not clear if the incidents were related. Previous car attacks in Yemen have been carried out by militant groups like Al-Qaeda.

In February last year, twin suicide bombings claimed by Daesh hit a base of an Aden counter-terrorism unit, killing five people, including a child.

Five months later, two people were killed when an attacker blew himself in the city.

Aden is the seat of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which has been at war with the Houthis since 2015.

(With Agencies)

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Iran forces Algerian tanker into its waters

Time: July 21, 2019  

The Iranian coast guard forced an Algerian tanker to head into Iranian waters on Friday. (File/ AP)

LONDON: The Iranian coast guard forced an Algerian tanker to head into Iranian waters on Friday before a confrontation ended, the Algerian state oil and gas company Sonatrach said.
Algeria’s state-run news agency APS, quoting Sonatrach, said Saturday the empty tanker “MESDAR” was forced into Iranian waters Friday night as it moved through the Strait of Hormuz.
An emergency hotline between Algeria’s energy and foreign ministries was quickly put into place and the incident concluded an hour and 15 minutes later. APS quoted Sonatrach as saying that “no human or material incident was registered.”
It said that the tanker was heading to Tanura in Saudi Arabia to onload oil for the Chinese company UNIPEC when it was forced into Iranian territorial waters.

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Saudi Arabia does not want war with Iran: Al-Jubeir

Time: July 01, 2019  

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second from left, told leaders at the G20 in Osaka that they need to take a strong stance toward Iran.
  • Saudi Arabia has called on world leaders to form a united front against Iran’s aggression in the region
  • The Kingdom plays a significant role in the G20

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told leaders of the G20 countries that the Kingdom does not want a war with Iran, said a senior official.
The crown prince is currently touring Japan, after heading the Kingdom’s delegation at the 14th G20 summit in Osaka.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the crown prince told the leaders of the summit they need to take a strong attitude toward Iran, reported Al Arabiya.
Shedding light on the crown prince’s visit, Al-Jubeir said Mohammed bin Salman stressed that Iran must not be allowed to continue its aggressive policy and that an international position must be taken to halt Tehran’s practices.
“The Iranian regime should not be allowed to continue its aggressive policies, such as targeting ships carrying oil and oil pipelines,” pointing out that this is a target against energy security and the global economy.
Al-Jubeir was speaking in Tokyo during a joint meeting with the Saudi Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, and Minister of Information, Turki Al-Shabana, and their Japanese counterparts, as part of the crown prince’s accompanying delegation during his Asia tour.
“The Kingdom should not allow the Iranian regime to continue its aggressive policies, such as targeting ships carrying oil and targeting oil pipelines,” he said. “This is a target for energy security and the global economy,” he said.

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One dead, several injured in Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport

Time: June 24, 2019  

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on Sunday that one person was killed and several others injured in a Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport. (Screenshot/Al-Arabiya)
  • Coalition spokesman Al-Maliki did not say what type of weapon was used in the attack
  • Person killed was Syrian resident in the Kingdom

RIYADH: Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on Sunday that one person was killed and 21 others injured in a Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport.

A terrorist attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia took place at Abha international airport, through which thousands of civilian passengers pass daily. A Syrian national died and 21 civilians were wounded,” the coalition spokesperon said in a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency.

Al-Maliki did not say what type of weapon was used in the attack.

(From Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Twitter account)

Earlier this month, at least 26 people were injured when a Houthi missile fired from Yemen hit the same airport.

After the attack, the coalition vowed a firm response and said the attack proved Tehran’s support for cross-border terrorism.

The coalition said the injured in the first attack were all civilians of different nationalities and included two Saudi children and three women – a Saudi, a Yemeni and an Indian.

Human Rights Watch denounced the June 12 strike as an apparent “war crime”, urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

The attacks come amid heightened regional tensions with Iran, which Saudi Arabia has accused of supplying sophisticated weapons to the Houthis. Tehran denies the charge.

* with agencies

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