Al-Jubeir’s thunderbolt response silences Iran

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir. (Reuters)
Updated 23 July 2016

Al-Jubeir’s thunderbolt response silences Iran

BRUSSELS: Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir gave a fitting reply to the consul general of Iran during a lecture at Egmont Research Center of the Foreign Ministry of Belgium in Brussels, after the consul alleged the Kingdom supported terrorism.

Al-Arabiya broadcast a part of the speech of the Iranian consul general, in which he said: “I believe that saying that Al-Qaeda has any relationship with Iran is a joke. Nobody has forgotten that Bin Laden was a Saudi national and he had strong political and economic relations with the Kingdom. They have also not forgotten that from among 19 people who participated in 9/11 attacks, 15 were Saudi nationals. People sitting in this hall also know which countries who have supported Daesh for several years are.”
Responding to this allegation, Al-Jubeir said: “I did not say anything which is not backed by facts. Doesn’t the Iranian constitution talk about exporting revolution? Doesn’t the Iranian constitution talk about taking care of deprived Shias? Didn’t Iran establish Hezbollah? Didn’t Iran attack more than 12 embassies inside Iran violating all international laws? We never attacked them. Iran did. Didn’t Iran engineer, plan and implement attacks on residences of the American forces in Alkhobar in 1996? Yes, they did.
The officer in charge of this operation was your military attaché in Bahrain. The person who made the bomb was from Hezbollah of Lebanon. The explosives came from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. The three main leaders of the operation ran away and has been living in Iran since then.”
Al-Jubeir continued: “When there were explosions in Riyadh in 2003, Saif Al-Adel was in Iran with Saad Bin Laden, Al-Qaed’s propaganda official, as well as another four or five commanders. We asked Iran to hand them over. But they refused our demand. Some of them are still in Iran.”
“The order for bombing the residential complexes of Riyadh in 2003 was given by Saif Al-Adel, commander of Al-Qaeda’s operations. He was then staying in Iran. We have recordings of telephone conversation. We did not create this information. Ronald Regan used to say: The facts are stubborn. They are actually stubborn because it is not possible to get around facts. Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. It is clear that it has attacked embassies. The embassies do not explode themselves. There must be somebody behind it. Diplomats do not kill themselves by firing bullets on themselves three times. There is a person responsible for this,” he added.
Al-Jubeir added: “Iranian agents have links with terrorist attacks in Europe and South America. We did not create these facts. This is the world and this is the proof. We wish that Iran would become a great neighbor. But this depends on both sides. If you want the world to deal with you, then there is a requirement of giving up hostile expansionist policies and return to international norms and practices.”
Addressing the Iranian consul directly, the foreign minister said: “If you don’t want Saudi officials criticizing Iran, then do not behave in a way which attracts criticism. So far your history is full of death and destruction, noncompliance with international law and the principles which have existed since the emergence of the United Nations, particularly those related to good neighborly relations and noninterference in the affairs of others.”

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

Updated 54 min 46 sec ago

Saudi films soar at Golden Falcon film awards

  • Winners of first Golden Falcon award will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques
  • Film screenings have been revived in KSA as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 

RIYADH: Saudi films have won awards at an international film festival organized by the Netherlands to coincide with the return of cinema to the Kingdom.

The first Golden Falcon Film Festival awards drew Saudi actors, filmmakers and cinema-lovers to the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh on Wednesday.

More than 30 shortlisted Saudi films were shown at the maiden festival on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nine films were nominated, with three each in the best film, best script and best director categories. Overall winners were chosen by an international jury headed by Dutch filmmaker Hans Treffers.

Best movie award went to “Mazban.” The other two films nominated in the category were “Tongue” and “Building 20.”

“The Poetess,” “Matour” and “Atoor” were nominated in the best director category with “Atoor” bagging the award.

“Departures,” “Atoor” and “The Remaining” were nominated in the best script category with “Departures” winning the award.

Besides the Golden Falcon trophy, the winners will travel to the Netherlands to study filmmaking techniques.

Joost Reintjes, the Netherlands ambassador in Riyadh, told Arab News: “We are proud to organize the first Golden Falcon Film Festival here to promote filmmaking in the Kingdom and provide a platform for young Saudi filmmakers to show what they have to offer.”

Film screenings — banned in Saudi Arabia in the 1980s following religious changes in the Kingdom — have been revived as part of wide-ranging social and economic reforms encouraged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

The return of cinema was heralded with a film screening on Wednesday at a newly built theater at the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh. 

Commenting on the lifting of the 35-year ban, Reintjes told Arab News: “That’s Vision 2030 — it is good sign to diversify and develop.

“Although the cinemas in the Kingdom have only been restarted now, Saudi filmmaking has already made a name for itself on the world stage.

“The Saudi film industry will grow very fast. The level of talent is high,” he said.

Mohammed Al-Qass, lead actor from “Departure,” said: “We have been working for this day for years. 

“Saudis with a thirst for cinema were traveling outside the country — now they can enjoy and share the experience in their homeland.” 

Mohammed Khawajah, a Saudi filmmaker and adviser for the film festival, told Arab News: “The idea for this festival came last year when the lifting of the cinema ban was being discussed.

“The Netherlands embassy had this idea about nine months ago; we sat together and planned the whole festival, which was carried out successfully, with hundreds of people enjoying Saudi films.

“We will improve with our next festival, which will have more fun and entertainment,” he said.