Saudi deaths: Tehran urged to speed up probe as foul play suspected

Updated 10 June 2015
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Saudi deaths: Tehran urged to speed up probe as foul play suspected

JEDDAH: The Foreign Ministry has summoned the Iranian ambassador to express its concern over the deaths of four Shiite Saudi children in his country, and to urge Tehran to speed up its investigation.
Osama Nugali, head of media at the Saudi Foreign Ministry, said there was “deep sorrow” in government at the news that four young Saudis had died and 28 others got sick from what appears to be a poisonous chemical they had inhaled while in their rooms in Mashhad on Sunday.
“The Saudi Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Kingdom and expressed its deep concern at the incident, and its hope that the Iranian authorities speed up the investigation and disclose the circumstances involved,” he said.
Nugali said that shortly after the incident occurred, the charge d’affaires and officials at the consulate in Mashhad went to the hotel to check on the Saudis and provide support, including, medical care.
The embassy also communicated with the Iranian Foreign Ministry and other departments in Mashhad to launch an investigation. “The incident is a matter of concern and the Saudi government is following up on the case,” Nugali said.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Health Minister Hassan Hashemi was reported as saying on Tuesday that the Saudis “may have been deliberately poisoned.”
Hashemi said that the poison was from a fumigation operation in the hotel where the Saudis were staying. Traces of this poison were found in samples of blood taken from the deceased, but a probe was under way, he said.
Hashemi said 32 Saudi visitors were poisoned, of whom four died and seven are being treated in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.
Mohammad Qanie, president of the hotel owners’ association in Mashhad, in northeast Iran, said the manager of Al-Tawhid Hotel in the city was arrested and the building closed. The hotel was licensed and had no previous problems, he said.


Saudi Arabia urges UN Security Council to disarm Houthis after drone attacks

Updated 20 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia urges UN Security Council to disarm Houthis after drone attacks

  • Saudi UN ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi says 'seven explosive drones'

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has warned that recent drone attacks against its oil pumping stations by Yemen's Houthi militants will jeopardize UN peace efforts in the country and lead to further escalation in the region.
The Saudi UN ambassador, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, said "seven explosive drones" directed by the militants attacked pumping stations on Tuesday in the cities of Dawadmi and Afif "on the east-west oil pipeline that transfers Saudi oil to Yanbu port and to the rest of the world."
He urged Security Council members in a letter circulated Monday "to disarm this terrorist militia in order to prevent the escalation of these attacks which increase regional tensions and raise the risks of a broader regional confrontation."