Don’t do business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Tillerson warns global firms

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the US embassy in Riyadh on Sunday. (REUTERS/Alex Brandon/Pool)
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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson poses for photographs with Boy Scouts at the US Embassy in Riyadh on Sunday. (REUTERS/Alex Brandon/Pool)
Updated 23 October 2017

Don’t do business with Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Tillerson warns global firms

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia and the US have warned companies not to do business with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
“Both our countries believe those who conduct business with the Revolutionary Guard, any of their entities, European companies or other companies around the world really do so at great risk,” US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said at a joint news conference in Riyadh with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir.
The US last week announced tough new sanctions against the IRGC because of its support for terrorism, effectively excluding it from the US financial system. Companies doing business with the group also risk penalties.
Al-Jubeir said the two men had discussed the Qatar crisis, along with terrorism and extremism in Syria, Iraq and the Middle East. He said Saudi Arabia and the US held identical views on most issues and their relationship was “age-old and friendly.”
Tillerson also met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and took part in discussions with members of the newly formed Saudi-Iraq Coordinating Council, which he said would open up wide areas of cooperation between the two countries.
“There will be tremendous economic opportunities in Iraq where Saudi Arabia could participate in accordance with the Saudi Vision 2030,” he said.
Rebuilding Iraq and developing its infrastructure were challenges, he said. The new council would give confidence to the Iraqis, strengthen their independence and help flush out terror from the country.
Tillerson also urged Iran-backed militias in Iraq to withdraw.
“Now that the fight against Daesh is coming to a close, those militias need to go home. The foreign fighters in Iraq need to go home and allow the Iraqi people to regain control,” he said.
After Riyadh, Tillerson’s six-day trip continues in Qatar, Pakistan, India and Switzerland.


Saudi gamers lead the way at Nexus e-sports festival

Updated 12 min 38 sec ago

Saudi gamers lead the way at Nexus e-sports festival

  • The 3-day festival ended with a spectacular performance by R&B singer Jason Derulo
  • The festival aims to promote electronic sports in the region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s EGZ was crowned champions in the main competition as American R&B star Jason Derulo ended the three-day Nexus gaming festival with a spectacular performance in Riyadh on Saturday.
The festival, an initiative of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA), was the first to be staged by Riot Games in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as part of its strategy to promote electronic sports in the region.
Hundreds of people gathered at Riyadh Boulevard to witness the finals of the six competitions based on the League of Legends, and to enjoy a variety of activities and attractions.
EGZ won $400,000 as part of the total $2 million prize fund after defeating Nasr Esports in the main 5v5 Summoners Rift competition.
Coach Paul Ouani said that the festival was a great learning experience for his team and he hopes Riot Games can build on this success.
“Having the Nexus festival here is a great decision. There is enormous potential in e-sports, especially in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. With many people watching online and live at venues, it will only get bigger,” he said
Other winners included Bassel (5v5 influencer final) and Abdulrahman Toxichill Bahmaid (1v1 champion).
As well as promoting gaming, the three-day festival also featured a music concert by US line-ups Mako and the Crystal Method, and a variety of entertainment.
Onur Tamer, METAI general manager of Riot Games, said: “As the first event on this scale for the region, it was a fantastic effort by the whole team. We have delivered something that the community has been expecting for a long time and it was great to see strong turnout during the three days.
“Attracting people of different ages is crucial in this region and we wanted to focus on three pillars — the gaming tournament, the festival area where the players would interact, and the musical experiences. We delivered that and everything was great, especially the cosplay, where a lot of people were interested.
“It is not just about gaming but going beyond that and opening League of Legends and e-sports to all people in this region,” he said.
“This event has shown that a lot of people have embraced the opportunity of visiting and learning more about League of Legends.”
Tamer said that future plans include an Arabic version of League of Legends.
“People want us to create a specific Arabic character, but it really depends on the creativity and bringing everything together to make it happen,” he said.