Iran’s ambition is to destroy the Saudi state, says Prince Turki Al-Faisal

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador and chief of the General Intelligence Directorate. (AFP)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Iran’s ambition is to destroy the Saudi state, says Prince Turki Al-Faisal

WASHINGTON: Iran is a “threat” and aims to destroy the Saudi state, the Kingdom’s former intelligence chief has warned.

Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador and chief of the General Intelligence Directorate, said that Iran had boasted about its interference in regional states.

“I don't think they threaten our existence. But definitely, their ambition is to destroy the Saudi state. And this is not new. This is from the time of (the former Supreme Leader of Iran) Khomeini,” Prince Turki told NPR.

Prince Turki pointed to Iran’s alleged interference in regional countries including Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

“Iran has not hesitated to interfere in all of these countries, and they boast about it. It's not something that they hide or that they shy from mentioning ... Their leadership has boasted about controlling four Arab capitals,” he said.

Prince Turki also said that the Iran-backed Houthi militias had tried to take over Yemen by military force.

“The Kingdom responded to the appeal of the legitimate government in Yemen to provide military support to help them push back on this Houthi-cum-Iranian interference in trying to take over in Yemen,” he said.

“Yemen is bordering Saudi Arabia. Imagine if Mexico or Canada had started interfering in the affairs of the United States. What would the reaction of America be? It would be to defend itself. Yes, it is complicated. And yes, we are paying a price for that. But I think it is a justifiable defense of our interests.”


Saudi Arabia says UN Khashoggi report contains ‘baseless allegations’ and ‘contradictions’

Updated 55 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia says UN Khashoggi report contains ‘baseless allegations’ and ‘contradictions’

  • Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the report contained 'nothing new.'
  • Saudi Arabia late indicted 11 people for the killing and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of them

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that a report by a UN expert on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi  contains “baseless allegations” and “contradictions”.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the report contained “nothing new.”

He said the judicial authorities in the Kingdom are the only ones competent to investigate the case and that a number of suspects have already been arrested.

The report “contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility,” he said on Twitter.

“We strongly reject any attempt to prejudice the Kingdom's leadership or to remove the case from the course of justice in the Kingdom or influencing it in any way.”

The report released Wednesday by UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, said the murder of Khashoggi was the responsibility of the state of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia late last year indicted 11 people for the killing and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against five of them.

Saudi prosecutors said Khashoggi was killed by a “rogue operation” in a botched attempt to repatriate him. 

Al-Jubeir said the trials are being attended by representatives from the embassies of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in addition to Turkey and Saudi human rights organizations.