King to open 6 mega projects today

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman. (SPA file photo)
Updated 25 November 2016

King to open 6 mega projects today

DAMMAM: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has paid tribute to the warm hospitality of people in the Eastern Province.
Addressing a reception held in his honor in Dammam on Thursday evening, King Salman said: “I deeply thank the people of this region, among (whom) I will always be pleased to find myself, for their unbound hospitality.”
He said the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan reflected the strength and the might of the Saudi economy. “(It is) a vision that will provide the Kingdom (with) wider and more comprehensive prospects,” he said, according to SPA.
“Our approach is steadfast and rock-solid; it is seeking a comprehensive, balanced and integrated development in various parts of the Kingdom,” the king added, promising to “make opportunities available to all and to realize legitimate aspirations, within the framework of the state’s rules and norms.”
King Salman is in Dammam to open six mega projects developed by the energy giant Saudi Aramco, which are expected to be launched on Friday.
At the reception, King Salman was accompanied by Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman. The king was received by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Naif.
Prince Saud bin Naif welcomed the king, expressing pleasure at the royal visit.
“Words fail to express the sentiments harbored by the well-wishing citizenry of the region on this exceptional occasion of having the king among us,” the governor said, assuring the king that the entire nation will work hard to implement the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
One of the projects to be launched on Friday is the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (iThra), which is a platform to encourage creativity, innovation and communication between different cultures, promote Saudi Arabia’s efforts in building a knowledge-based economy and deal with modern technologies of new generations.
The center seeks to enhance investment in members of the community to encourage learning and exploration, as well as find economic opportunities by developing a generation of thinkers, innovators and creators in the Kingdom. The center also seeks to provide unlimited economic opportunities as a result of such innovation and creation.
The king will also inaugurate the Khurais oil field, which is one of the last giant oil fields to be discovered in the world. The oil field has obtained a high global ranking in terms of size, and is located near the world’s largest oil field, Ghawar.
Among the other large projects to be launched and expanded is the project to increase crude oil production at the Manifa oil field, one of the largest crude oil production projects in the world.
King Salman will also inaugurate the Wasit gas plant project, north of Jubail Industrial City, which is set to help meet Saudi Arabia’s energy needs. The project comes as part of Vision 2030, which stipulates as part of its economic plan the importance of doubling gas production levels and establishing a natural network to expand distribution activities.
The king will also inaugurate the expansion project of the Shaybah crude oil field, which is one of the largest projects of its kind, in both the Middle East and wider world.

US court orders Iran to pay $879 million to 1996 Khobar bombing survivors

Updated 48 min 56 sec ago

US court orders Iran to pay $879 million to 1996 Khobar bombing survivors

  • The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material for the attack
  • The Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia were housing US forces when it was bombed in 1996

DUBAI: A United States federal court held Iran responsible for the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia where US forces were housed, and ordered Tehran to pay $879 million to survivors. 

The Khobar Towers was a housing complex in the eastern city of Khobar, near the Abdulaziz Air Base and Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran, that housed American servicemen working on Operation Southern Watch.

A truck bomb was detonated on June 25, 1996, near an eight-story building of the housing complex, which killed 19 US Air Force personnel and a Saudi national and wounded 498 others.

The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material support to Hezbollah who detonated the 5,000-pound truck bomb, a Chicago law firm press release said. The attackers reportedly smuggled the explosives used in the attack from Lebanon. 

The lawsuit was brought under the terrorism exception of the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act by the 14 injured US airmen and 21 of their immediate family members.

The defendants in the case were listed as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.



“We will continue to seek to hold the Government of Iran accountable for this terrorist attack as long as is necessary,” said Adora Sauer, the lead attorney of MM LAW LLC.

US District Judge Beryl A. Howell found the defendants liable and awarded the plaintiffs $132 million for pain and suffering, as well as prejudgment interest, for a total compensatory damage award of $747 million and $132 million for punitive damages.

The court also said the plaintiffs are eligible for partial payments from the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, which compensates American victims of acts of international terrorism with funds obtained from fines and forfeitures levied against companies caught illegally laundering money for sanctioned countries and persons. 

The attorneys also intend to pursue enforcement of the judgments through litigation intended to seize Iranian assets.

“The physical and psychological toll on our families has been extremely high, but this judgment is welcome news. More than 20 years on, we want the world to remember the evil that Iran did at the Khobar Towers. Through the work of our attorneys, we intend to do just that,” said Glenn Christie, a retired Air Force staff sergeant crew chief who was severely injured in the bombing.

“The massive explosion took so much from their minds and bodies on the day of the attack in 1996 and every day and night since then. They can now live with that balance justice provides,” according to John Urquhart of the Urquhart Law Firm, who also represents the bombing victims.