Don’t do business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Tillerson warns global firms

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the US embassy in Riyadh on Sunday. (REUTERS/Alex Brandon/Pool)
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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson poses for photographs with Boy Scouts at the US Embassy in Riyadh on Sunday. (REUTERS/Alex Brandon/Pool)
Updated 23 October 2017

Don’t do business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Tillerson warns global firms

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the US have warned companies not to do business with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“Both our countries believe those who conduct business with the Revolutionary Guard, any of their entities, European companies or other companies around the world really do so at great risk,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a joint news conference in Riyadh with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir.
The US last week announced tough new sanctions against the IRGC because of its support for terrorism, effectively excluding it from the US financial system. Companies doing business with the group also risk penalties.
Al-Jubeir said the two men had discussed the Qatar crisis, along with terrorism and extremism in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East. He said Saudi Arabia and the US held identical views on most issues and their relationship was “age-old and friendly.”
Tillerson also met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and took part in discussions with members of the newly formed Saudi-Iraq Coordinating Council, which he said would open up wide areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“There will be tremendous economic opportunities in Iraq where Saudi Arabia could participate in accordance with the Saudi Vision 2030,” he said.
Rebuilding Iraq and developing its infrastructure were challenges, he said. The new council would give confidence to the Iraqis, strengthen their independence and help flush out terror from the country.
Tillerson also urged Iran-backed militias in Iraq to withdraw.
“Now that the fight against Daesh is coming to a close, those militias need to go home. The foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control,” he said.
After Riyadh, Tillerson’s six-day trip continues in Qatar, Pakistan, India and Switzerland.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.