Saudi envoy exposes Iran regime’s role in assault on KSA oil tankers

Iran’s belligerent use of proxy warfare threatens global shipping trade. (File/Getty Images)
Updated 11 August 2018

Saudi envoy exposes Iran regime’s role in assault on KSA oil tankers

  • Prince Khalid bin Salman condemns Tehran’s ‘menacing role’ in Yemen and disregard for human suffering
  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Commander Nasser Shabani himself admitted to Iran's role in the attack

JEDDAH: Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, has reiterated his condemnation of the Iranian regime’s “menacing role” in Yemen.

His remarks on Twitter on Friday came days after Saudi Arabia resumed shipping through the Bab Al-Mandeb.

Maritime activity had been temporarily halted following Houthi attacks on two of the Kingdom’s oil tankers.

“There should be no doubt about the Iranian regime’s ‘menacing role’ in Yemen,” the prince said, referring to Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Commander Nasser Shabani’s admission that the regime was behind recent attacks on the two oil tankers.




According to the Iranian news agency Fars, Shabani said: “We asked the Yemenis to attack the two Saudi oil tankers, and they did.”

The article has since been removed from the agency’s website.

 

Main pillars

Shabani has also said that Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen were Iran’s main pillars in the region.

“There should be no further doubt of the Iranian regime’s menacing role in Yemen and its disregard for human suffering and the environment,” Prince Khalid tweeted.

He attached a screenshot of the original article in which Shabani made the statements to another of his own tweets: “IRGC General Shabani admits his regime was behind the July 25 attack on Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea saying ‘We told the Yemenis to hit Saudi tankers, and they did. Lebanese Hezbollah and Yemeni Ansar Allah (Houthis) are our followers.’”

The Iranian post was later deleted.

The Arab coalition announced on July 25 it had prevented a Houthi attack targeting two Saudi oil tankers in the Bab Al-Mandeb, off Yemen’s west coast. One of the tankers suffered minor damage.

 

Cyberattacks

Meanwhile, experts said the US was bracing for cyberattacks Iran might launch in retaliation for the reimposition of sanctions by President Donald Trump. Concern over a possible cyber threat has been growing since May when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Experts said the threat would intensify following Washington’s move on Tuesday to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran.

“We have seen an increase in chatter related to Iranian threat activity over the past several weeks,” said Priscilla Moriuchi, director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, a global cyber threat intelligence company.

The US says it re-imposed sanctions on Iran to prevent its aggression — denying it the funds it needs to finance terrorism, its missile program and forces in conflicts in Yemen and Syria.


Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.