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

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.

US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

Updated 48 min 2 sec ago

US denies ‘final conclusion’ reached on Khashoggi case

  • A US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case
  • ‘The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts’

JEDDAH: The US government denied on Saturday it had reached a final conclusion over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi after a US newspaper published what it claimed were details of an intelligence report on the case. 
“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts,” she said.
“In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.”

But President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that his administration would get “a very full report,” including who was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, on Monday or Tuesday.
The Washington Post published an article citing anonymous sources, who it says are close to the CIA which suggests the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing — something Saudi Arabia vehemently denies.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor on Thursday released details of its investigation, saying the decision to kill the journalist was made by the head of a rogue mission during an attempt to repatriate him. The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects. 
On Saturday, Donald Trump spoke with CIA Director Gina Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from Air Force One, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. 
Trump praised US relations with Saudi Arabia when he was asked about the case. Saudi Arabia is “a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development,” the US president said.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman, strongly denied the Washington Post story, and said he did not tell Khashoggi to go to Turkey, as the report claimed. 
“I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” Prince Khalid said
Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the United States, was a columnist for the Post.
He was killed on Oct. 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after he went to get marriage documents.