Saudi Press Roundup
The Saudi initiatives of forming an Islamic alliance and strengthening of diplomatic and economic relations with developed nations is a natural outcome of the policies of the farsighted leadership of the Kingdom.
The Kingdom is known for respecting sovereignty of other countries and protecting its own. It is a known fact that Saudi Arabia never interferes in the internal matters of other countries and treads carefully while dealing with issues related to the Arab and the Muslim world.
Following the execution of 47 terrorists in the Kingdom, the Iranian government went into overdrive and started criticizing Saudi Arabia for executing one of those convicts — Nimr Al-Nimr — who was found guilty of inciting people to violence and instigating people to stand against the government.
Severance of business and diplomatic relations with Iran is considered an important step, as Iran failed to follow the basic principles of international relations by allowing mobs to attack the Saudi embassy and consulate under the umbrella of the Iranian security.
The Iranian actions should not surprise anybody, particularly those who are aware of this country’s track record.
It is a known fact that Iran always tries to exploit Haj season to plant discord among pilgrims, which violates the sanctity of this event.
We cannot forget Iran’s repeated attempts to instigate hatred and discord in Bahrain in a bid to reach the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia. The latest Iranian move of attacking Saudi diplomatic missions proved that Al-Nimr was part of the Iranian plot to destabilize Saudi internal security.
However, the results were counterproductive and shocking for Iran when the family of Al-Nimr said the man represented himself and did not represent Saudi Shiites.
— By Haya Abdulaziz Almanee
Losing the game
All Iranian plans against Saudi Arabia and the Arab world have been exposed. Iran does not appear to have learned any lesson from its past mistakes. It has always lost all wars in the west of the Arabian Gulf and the Arab region.
Since 1979, or more than 35 years, Iran has lost wars after wars in Iraq, Lebanon, Hezbollah-fought war with Israel, Syria and Yemen.
Iran’s plans in Yemen have once again been defeated badly. It was trying to capitalize on the ragtag Houthi militias. It met a similar fate in Bahrain. Now it is losing ground in Iraq.
Since 1979, Iran has intentionally orchestrated conflicts with Saudi Arabia even during Haj seasons. However, Iran faced hard and tough tests from Saudi Arabia as follows:
First: The decisive storm operations in Yemen against the coup of Houthi militia.
Second: Execution of Nimr Al-Nimr together with other terrorists in the Kingdom.
Third: Severance of diplomatic relations and expulsion of Iranian ambassador in the wake of attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
No doubt, Iranian politicians have acknowledged the volume of isolation from the Arabs, developments in neighboring countries and, further, discovered that its losses after the Arab Spring of 2010 were immense.
— By Abdulaziz Al-Jarallah
Sports and terrorism
Iran is the source of terrorism and wants to divide the Gulf countries along sectarian lines. The recent attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran are a gross violation of international treaties, which stipulate protection of diplomatic missions in the host countries.
Accordingly, Saudi Arabia announced severance of diplomatic relations and halting of air and sea links, in a manner that has reflected the strength of Saudi stance and positive interaction of the majority of the GCC and Arab countries with the decision.
Based on the above decision, the interaction should be expanded to include other areas; namely sports, notably the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Championship League draw put Saudi Arabian football teams with the Iranian teams, which means that Saudi teams have to go there which should be rejected.
The rejection came in a letter addressed by Saudi Arabian Football Federation (SAFF) to the AFC asking for transfer of matches to be played by the Saudi clubs to a neutral ground. A similar letter was sent by the United Arab Emirates Football Association to AFC.
Cooperation of the GCC countries in this context is highly required in a bid to exert pressure on the AFC based on the rules of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA), which allow such a demand if there are political events that could harm elements of the game.
Practically, the political events between North and South Korea led the AFC to transfer games between the two countries to a neutral stadium.
Now, the decision is in the hands of the AFC to protect GCC clubs and players from the danger of Iranian terrorism, especially Iranian stadiums witnessed chaos and sectarian mobs in the last few years.
Every season, chaos occurs in the Iranian stadiums with no penalties imposed by the AFC, which has negatively affected the sports, and, therefore, the solution is ready for the AFC: Transfer games to a neutral land.
— By Bandar Al-Badrani
For many decades, some people held the view that Saudi Arabia knew nothing about wars but “bought safety with money.”
However, time has proved that money is no longer viable and Saudi leadership, amazingly, showed the world its true skills and proved to be a lion in the battlefield.
Wars in our contemporary world have three fields: Fighting, diplomacy and media. In the first, the Saudi-led alliance in Yemen has been fighting the oppressors for months and will definitely gain the greatest combat experiences.
Diplomacy has surprisingly given us a rare dynamism globally whereby it curbed opponents, confused their plans and renewed efficiency of our Islamic leadership.
On the other hand, media is our “delayed war” for unknown wisdom, where the Kingdom has been exhausted financially and materially for decades with internal, foreign and Arab media plans but on the harvest day nothing has been gained.
— By Mohammed Marouf Al-Shaibani
Role of Saudi media
Saudi Arabia is still continuing with its rational role in controlling pace of events despite all attempts of provocation and conspiracies against it.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, or then Saudi ambassador in the United States, survived an attempt on his life and very recently Saudi embassy was burned in Tehran … Do we expect worse than that?
Political rift with Iran is expanding day after day as evidenced by Iran’s strained relations with most countries in the Muslim world either in the form of severing relations, recalling envoys or downgrading of diplomatic representation as is the case with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
On the other hand, Saudi media seems to be cautious in responding to Iran’s provocative campaigns.
Official and private media outlets in the Kingdom will hopefully exploit all their potentials and cadres to deter attempts, which depict minorities as being deprived and oppressed.
The Saudi media should respond to negative media campaigns and highlight the true strength of the Kingdom.
— By Osama Yusuf
Importance of privatization
Among the demands to implement a comprehensive reform and restructuring of the local economy is the application of privatization properly and in a wider context.
Privatization will help rationalize government spending where the private sector will bear part of the exorbitant bill incurred by the state each year; that is salaries and wages that swallow SR450bn, or more than 50 percent of total government spending allocated in the state budget.
Apart from the issue of efficiency and rationalization, privatization will generate investments, which, in turn, will lead to the growth of banking sectors that are prime providers of funds to these investments that means more jobs and less unemployment.
On the other hand, privatization will boost the productivity of the Saudi labor market due to the fact that criteria applied by the private sector on employees are stricter to make them more productive than what is being applied in the public sector.
In a study carried out by the World Bank in 21 developing countries, which privatized 79 government companies, it was found out that the rate of profitability in these companies grew by 124 percent during 12 years, or more than 10 percent on an annual basis.
According to the study, the rate of efficiency in these companies grew by more than 25 percent and net profit for each employee rose by 63 percent compared to pre-privatization period.
— By Fahad Aba Al-Khail
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point-of-view