Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir warns of intolerable Iranian threat

Iran threatens the entire region and its aggression can no longer be tolerated, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday. (File/AFP)
Updated 07 December 2019

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jubeir warns of intolerable Iranian threat

  • Al-Jubeir stressed that Iran must be deprived of the tools that threaten the region
  • He also said the only solution to Yemen is political

JEDDAH: Iran continues to pose a serious threat to the entire region and its aggression can no longer be tolerated, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Friday.

He told the Mediterranean Dialogue Conference in Rome that the regime in Tehran must be deprived of the tools it uses to endanger the region and the world.

“Iran believes in the principle of exporting its revolution and does not respect the sovereignty of states,” said Al-Jubeir. The regime is spending millions of dollars to build nuclear weapons but does not take care of its people, he said.

Nobody is suggesting a regime change, the minister said; the solution instead lies in more effective negotiations to agree an improved Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (the so-called Iran nuclear deal), and halt Tehran’s interference in other countries and its support of terrorism.

Turning to the crisis in Yemen, Al-Jubeir said only a political solution will be effective. “The Houthis are the ones who started the war, not us,” he added, but stressed that they will not be excluded from the peace and recovery process.

“All Yemenis, including the Houthis, have a role in the future of Yemen,” he said. “We support the legitimate government and the creation of new institutions that can be representative of all Yemenis.”

In a series of tweets on the Saudi Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account, Al-Jubeir addressed a number of other issues, including the regional dispute with Qatar.


Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio meets with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, left, at the Rome Med 2019 – Mediterranean Dialogues summit, in Rome. (AP)

“We have a common history with Qatar and we have a common destiny, but there are necessary steps that need to be taken,” he wrote.

Regarding the decision by the Trump administration to withdraw US forces from a number of countries in the region, Al-Jubeir noted: “While they redeploy from Iraq they’re sending more troops to Saudi Arabia. Their presence is welcome, because they’re our allies.”

Al-Jubeir’s strong criticism of Iran was echoed on Friday by UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet.

She said that Iranian security forces used “severe violence” to quell anti-government unrest last month, shooting at protesters from helicopters and a rooftop. They aimed for people’s heads and also fired at protesters as they ran away, she added, citing verified video footage.

Bachelet said the UN Human Rights Office has received information indicating that at least 208 people were killed, including 13 women and 12 children, during the demonstrations and at least 7,000 people arrested. 

Iranian authorities this week confirmed for the first time that security forces killed demonstrators during what human rights groups have described as the deadliest anti-government unrest since 1979.

“All in all, the picture now emerging from Iran is extremely disturbing,” Bachelet said.

Trump gives dramatic account of Soleimani’s last minutes before death: CNN

Updated 10 min 5 sec ago

Trump gives dramatic account of Soleimani’s last minutes before death: CNN

  • The president spoke at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, at a Republican event
  • CNN said it obtained an audio recording of Trump’s remarks

PALM BEACH, Florida: US President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the US drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The president spoke in a ballroom at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, at a Republican event that raised $10 million for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign and for the Republican National Committee.
Reporters were not allowed in for the event. CNN said it obtained an audio recording of Trump’s remarks. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Jan. 3 killing of Soleimani at Baghdad airport prompted Iran to retaliate with missile strikes against US forces in Iraq days later and almost triggered a broad war between the two countries.
“They’re together sir,” Trump said military officials told him. “Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds. No emotion. ‘Two minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. Thirty seconds. Ten, 9, 8 ...’ “
“Then all of a sudden, boom,” he said. “’They’re gone, sir. Cutting off.’“
“I said, where is this guy?” Trump continued. “That was the last I heard from him.”
It was the most detailed account that Trump has given of the drone strike, which has drawn criticism from some US lawmakers because neither the president nor his advisers have provided public information to back up their statements that Soleimani presented an “imminent” threat to Americans in the region.
CNN said that in the audio, Trump did not repeat that Soleimani was an imminent threat. Trump said Soleimani was “saying bad things about our country” before the strike, which led to his decision to authorize his killing.