Latest attacks have exposed ‘vile and cowardly’ Iranian regime before the entire world, Saudi FM tells UN General Assembly

Latest attacks have exposed ‘vile and cowardly’ Iranian regime before the entire world, Saudi FM tells UN General Assembly
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York City on September 26, 2019. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)
Updated 27 September 2019
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Latest attacks have exposed ‘vile and cowardly’ Iranian regime before the entire world, Saudi FM tells UN General Assembly

Latest attacks have exposed ‘vile and cowardly’ Iranian regime before the entire world, Saudi FM tells UN General Assembly
  • Al-Assaf says financial pressure is best way to control Iran
  • The attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil installations jolted global oil prices

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia on Thursday called for a concerted world effort to stop Iran's aggression as it officially identified Iran as the culprit behind the Sept. 14 drone and missile attacks on the Kingdom's oil facilities.

"The latest attacks and aggression have exposed the Iranian regime before the entire world; we are dealing with a rogue and terrorist system that continues to threaten the international peace and security," Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf told the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais oil installations in eastern Saudi Arabia jolted global oil prices and temporarily knocked out nearly six per cent of daily global crude production.

“We know very well who stood behind this aggression,” said Al-Assaf, who called the strikes a "flagrant violation of international laws and a threat to international peace and security," he said.

“We have known that regime for 40 years. It is good at nothing but masterminding explosions, destruction and assassinations, not only in our region but also throughout the world.” 

He urged the world to apply “utmost pressure with every tool available", saying that the most effective way to control Tehran is to cut off its financial resources. 

“It is necessary for the international community to realize that cutting off sources of finance is the best way to compel the regime to renounce its militias, prevent it from developing ballistic missiles and put an end to its destabilizing activities in the region and the world,” he said.

Al-Assaf said Iranian aggression also "jeopardizes energy supplies and the world economy, hence the recent attacks are a real test for the international community."

Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks, pointing to a statement by Houthi militias in Yemen claiming responsibility for the attack.

But Saudi Arabia insists Iranian weapons were used and has invited UN investigators to assess where the strikes were launched. The United States, France, Britain and Germany also blame Iran, which has been under US sanctions since 2018.

A defiant Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed at a news conference on the sidelines of the General Assembly on Thursday that the Tehran regime will not bow to pressure.

“Cease this policy of maximum pressure and pursue a policy of dialogue and logic and reason,” he said.

US President Donald Trump has deferred, at least for now, any immediate military strike on Iran. But he approved a broader effort to beef up security in Saudi Arabia and the region. He told reporters that showing restraint “shows far more strength” than launching retaliatory strikes now.

The US said Thursday it was sending one Patriot missile battery and four ground-based radar systems to Saudi Arabia, in what officials describe as the first steps to help the kingdom protect itself against Iranian attacks. Two more Patriot batteries and a THAAD missile defense system will be prepared to go later if needed, and the deployment will involve about 200 troops.

Tensions between Iran and the West have risen since Trump withdrew the US from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with several world powers, saying the agreement was woefully inadequate.

The US went on to impose heavy sanctions on Iran, even as other nations that signed the nuclear accord argued for trying to salvage it. After continuing to comply with the agreement for a year, Iran has returned to expanding its nuclear enrichment program.

 

(With AP)