Saudi, Bahrain classify Iran's ICRG and Soleimani among terror list - SPA

Saudi Finance Minister Mohammed Al-Jadaan with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (SPA)
Updated 23 October 2018
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Saudi, Bahrain classify Iran's ICRG and Soleimani among terror list - SPA

  • Mnuchin says US and 6 other Middle East countries are taking action to expose and disrupt terrorist activities by the Taliban and Iran to undermine the Afghan government
  • The 7 nations make up the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center which has an operations center in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it and Bahrain had added Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and senior officers of its Quds Force to their lists of people and organizations suspected of involvement in terrorism.

The Saudi state news agency SPA quoted a statement from the security services saying Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, and the force’s Hamed Abdollahi and Abdul Reza Shahlai were named on the list.

The US Department of the Treasury in 2011 alleged that Soleimani, Abdollahi and Shahlai were linked to a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s former ambassador to the United States and current foreign minister of the Kingdom, Adel Al-Jubeir, and imposed sanctions on them.

Saudi Arabia’s State Security Presidency and the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, a US-Gulf initiative to stem finance to militant groups, sanctioned and designated 9 individuals associated with the Afghan Taliban and their Iranian facilitators.

The center was established in May 2017 during US President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia and the United States co-chair the group and Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are also members.

“In a collective effort to identify, tackle and share information related to terrorist financing networks and their activities of mutual concerns, including threats emerging from countries supporting terrorism and terrorist organizations, and in coordinating among Terrorist Financing Targeting Center Members to take actions, including designating and other measures against the terrorists and their financial networks, TFTC co-chair (Saudi Arabia and the US), as well as the other TFTC Members (Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar), a statement on SPA read.

Some of those mentioned were already on US and UN sanctions lists.
They also labeled the following Taliban figures including Iranian facilitators:

1. Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi

2. Esmail Razzavi Abdullah Samad Farugui

3. Mohammad Daoud Muzzamil

4. Abdulrahim Manan

5. Mohammad Naim Barich

6. Abdulaziz Shah Zamani

7. Sadr Ibrahim

8. Hafiz Abdulmaj

This action is the third collective TFTC designation action since the center was launched. 

The office of the Revolutionary Guards and Iran’s foreign ministry were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday. The Quds Force is the extraterritorial branch of the Revolutionary Guards.

The action will result in the freezing of all assets, properties and related revenues of the named individuals in the designating countries and people are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.