Tehran seeks to ‘divide the world,’ says Saudi Arabia’s Adel Al-Jubeir

Saudi Arabian minister of state for foreign affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Saturday Iran bore responsibility for the attacks on Saudi Aramco. (AP)
Updated 22 September 2019

Tehran seeks to ‘divide the world,’ says Saudi Arabia’s Adel Al-Jubeir

  • Saudi-led investigations so far show that Iranian weapons were used, attack came from the north
  • Kingdom consulting with allies to "take necessary steps"

RIYADH: Attacks last week on Saudi oil facilities were “an attack against all mankind” and Iran was trying to divide the world, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs said on Saturday.

Al-Jubeir said the attacks were undertaken with Iranian weapons and it was for this reason that Iran should be held accountable for the incident, adding: “We are certain that the attacks did not come from Yemen but from the north. Investigations will prove that.”

“The Iranian position is to try to divide the world and in that it is not succeeding, he said.

In a press conference held in the Saudi capital, Al-Jubeir also said that the attacks on Aramco facilities were also targeting global energy security and that Saudi Arabia would take appropriate steps to respond if investigations confirm that Iran is responsible.

“The Kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability,” Al-Jubeir said.

“Saudi Arabia has taken a defensive stance, as opposed to Iran which has fired 260 Iranian-made ballistic missiles through its militias, and more than 150 drones.

The Kingdom, unlike Iran, has not fired a missile, a drone or a bullet toward Iran. This demonstrates that we seek good while they seek evil.

Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs

“The Kingdom, unlike Iran, has not fired a missile, a drone or a bullet toward Iran. This demonstrates that we seek good while they seek evil,” he said.

Saudi Arabia has rejected claims from Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis that they carried out the strikes, the largest-ever assault on Saudi oil facilities in the world’s top oil exporter. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia is consulting with its allies to “take the necessary steps”, Al-Jubeir said, urging the international community to take a stand.

“The Kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility in condemning those that stand behind this act, and to take a firm and clear position against this reckless behavior that threatens the global economy,” he said.

More than 80 countries have condemned the attacks, he said. 

The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Saturday any country that attacked Iran would become a battlefield, after the US ordered reinforcements to the Gulf following last week’s attacks.

Washington approved the deployment to Saudi Arabia at “the Kingdom’s request,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, and the forces would be focused on air and missile defense. IRGC commander Major General Hossein Salami said: “Whoever wants their land to become the main battlefield, go ahead. We will never allow any war to encroach upon Iran’s territory.”

The US this week imposed more sanctions on Iran and approved the sending of American troops to the region.

(With agencies)


Pope appears to give thumbs down to Trump’s Middle East peace plan

Updated 23 February 2020

Pope appears to give thumbs down to Trump’s Middle East peace plan

  • Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari
  • The Palestinians and Arab League foreign ministers have rejected the plan

BARI, Italy: Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
“The Mediterranean region is currently threatened by outbreaks of instability and conflict, both in the Middle East and different countries of North Africa, as well as between various ethnic, religious or confessional groups,” Francis said.
“Nor can we overlook the still unresolved conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, with the danger of inequitable solutions and, hence, a prelude to new crises,” he said.
The participants included Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the head of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, whose jurisdiction includes Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan.

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It was believed to be the first time the pope, who has often defended both Palestinian rights and Israel’s need for security, has spoken in public about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since Trump announced the plan on Jan. 28.
The plan would recognize Israel’s authority over West Bank Jewish settlements and require Palestinians meet a series of conditions for a state, with its capital in a West Bank village east of Jerusalem.
Although Trump’s stated aim was to end decades of conflict, his plan favored Israel, underlined by the Palestinians’ absence from his White House announcement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his side.
The Palestinians and Arab League foreign ministers have rejected the plan and the Palestinian Authority has cut all ties with the United States and Israel.
Palestinians, with broad international backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state, while Israel views the whole city its “united and eternal” capital.
The pope expressed concern in 2018 when the United States announced the moving of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying the city’s “status quo” should be respected. Francis has called for all to honor UN resolutions on the city.
“There is no reasonable alternative to peace, because every attempt at exploitation or supremacy demeans both its author and its target. It shows a myopic grasp of reality, since it can offer no future to either of the two,” Francis said, speaking in general about the Middle East.
Francis again warned against populist politicians who he said used “demagogic terms” such as “invasion” when talking of migration.
“To be sure, acceptance and a dignified integration are stages in a process that is not easy. Yet it is unthinkable that we can address the problem by putting up walls,” he said.