Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia ‘considering all options’ in response to Aramco attack

Adel Al-Jubeir said the United Nations was helping identify the launch site. (Saudi foreign ministry)
Updated 24 September 2019

Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia ‘considering all options’ in response to Aramco attack

  • Adel Al-Jubeir said the United Nations was helping identify the launch site of the Aramco attacks
  • The United Nations is helping identify the launch site for the drones and cruise missiles

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia will consider all options in response to the attack on oil facilities blamed on Iran, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Tuesday.

The Kingdom will complete the investigation "fairly soon" into the cruise missile and drone strikes on two sites earlier this month, Al-Jubeir said at an event in New York, where he is attending the UN General Assembly.

He said Saudi Arabia believed Iran was behind the attacks and added that the United Nations was helping identify the launch site.

“We want to mobilize international support, and we want to look at all options - diplomatic options, economic options and military options - and then make the decision,” Al-Jubeir said at a Council on Foreign Relations conference.

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READ MORE: As it happened: UN General Assembly day one

Trump calls on world to stand up to 'Iran's bloodlust'

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The attacks on the Abqaiq processing facility and Khurais oil field temporarily cut the Kingdom’s oil production by half and sparked widespread condemnation, along with concern over the impact on energy markets.

The US quickly said Iran was responsible and officials have even said the attacks weapons were launched from Iranian soil. Iran has denied any involvement, while the militia it supports in Yemen, the Houthis, claimed responsibility.

Donald Trump offered a firm response but has also said America would like a peaceful outcome to the flare-up.

But Al-Jubeir said there is a certain limit beyond which even the Americans patience runs out and “I think Iran has to be aware of this.”

“Nobody is in a rush to war but at the same time we have to signal to the Iranians that your behavior can not continue,” he said.

Earlier, Trump told the UN General Assembly  that nations must tighten the economic noose around Iran’s economy and accused Tehran of “blood lust.”

*With Reuters


Startup of the Week: Wayakit, the biotech firm helping travelers beat odors and stains

Updated 10 December 2019

Startup of the Week: Wayakit, the biotech firm helping travelers beat odors and stains

  • Wayakit leaves the clothes clean and fresh again

JEDDAH: Wayakit is a biotechnology start-up incubated by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).

KAUST Ph.D students Sandra Medina and Luisa Javier are avid travelers who have come up with a pocket-sized product that deals with both odors and stains on fabrics, leaving the cloths clean and fresh again.

Wayakit is also gentler on fabrics because traditional laundry eventually damages them, said Javier, who first moved to Saudi Arabia from Mexico ten years ago.

Her business partner, Sandra Medina, who came from Colombia to study at KAUST, explained to Arab News how Wayakit works. “You just spray the smelly area twice and you’re good to go. In the case of stains, you spray twice and then pat dry it with a tissue and it will disappear,” she said.

The idea for the product came during a trip for a conference two years ago when the travelers realized their luggage was lost “We had to present with our dirty, seven-hours’ flight clothes,” Javier told Arab News.

“We started looking into the possibility then, because there’s not a proper solution to doing laundry while traveling,” she said.

 

They decided they needed to come up with a product that was not pricey, was easy to carry, and did the job by removing stains and bad odors “on-the-go.”

 

 

The duo began by interviewing more than 100 travelers of 23 different nationalities to find out if this was a common issue that travelers struggled with.

 

“From the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST, we learned the importance of listening first to the customers before designing any product,” said Medina. From these interviews, Wayakit team got the product requirements and then moved into the lab to start working on the formulation of Wayakit. “The amazing facilities and labs in KAUST helped us to speed up the creation of our first prototype. After this, the same KAUST community was the people who first tried Wayakit and gave us feedback. “In KAUST we do not only have state-of-the-art labs, but also a whole entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Medina added.

Wayakit is different from its competitors in that it contains no toxic chemicals, and covers a broader spectrum in covering stains — it is two products in one. It also contains anti-bacterial properties, acting as a sanitizer that “removes all the stains that occur on a day-to-day basis as well as being an odor remover,” Javier said.

The pair went for a biotechnology-based formula that excluded the usage of oxidizers and focused on more organic compounds. “Even the anti-bacterial properties are not toxic as we incorporated these in an environmentally friendly formulation,” she said.

The Wayakit founders had to rigorously test their product, dealing with different types of sweat and stains to perfect their spray. “We had to give testers to travelers to try it out and had to listen to their feedback, then went back to the lab to improve it, in order to make sure the product was as promised.”

Medina said KAUST’s mentorship had also helped their company to develop. “KAUST for us is a catalyst of entrepreneurship and has given us a lot of room to grow our start-up Wayakit,” she said.

KAUST helped Wayakit by giving the advice and support from the start. From entrepreneurial courses to teaching the concepts of building a brand, KAUST encouraged Wayakit to grow from a scientific outlook and helped the founders to better understand the customer.

“As foreigners, it was difficult for us to understand the logistics and procurement of shipping and importing here in Saudi Arabia. KAUST has helped us to face that hurdle in order to be able to reach all our clients in the MENA region and worldwide,” Medina said. “Beyond helping travellers, our mission is to change the way how laundry is commonly done. We found a way to effectively wash clothes reducing water and energy consumption,” Javier said. 

Wayakit has recently began selling in Jeddah’s Homegrown Market, chosen because it is “a Middle Eastern brand store with unique ambience,” said Medina.