Saudi FM accuses Iran of spreading havoc in region

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow during an official visit to Russia on Jan. 14 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow during an official visit to Russia on Jan. 14 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow during an official visit to Russia on Jan. 14 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow during an official visit to Russia on Jan. 14 2021. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow during an official visit to Russia on Jan. 14 2021. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan held a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Moscow during an official visit to Russia on Jan. 14 2021. (SPA)
Saudi FM accuses Iran of spreading havoc in region
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with his Saudi counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud in Moscow on Jan. 14, 2021. (AFP)
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Updated 14 January 2021

Saudi FM accuses Iran of spreading havoc in region

Saudi FM accuses Iran of spreading havoc in region
  • Tehran’s interventions must be confronted to protect peoples of the region, Saudi foreign minister says during visit to Moscow
  • Lavrov stressed that Moscow supported a comprehensive political process in Libya with the participation of all parties

JEDDAH: During a visit to Moscow on Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan accused Iran of spreading “havoc and destruction” in the Middle East.
Speaking during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, he denounced regional “interventions” by the Iranian regime and said it must be confronted to protect and benefit the people who live there.
He added that Tehran’s proxy militias are obstructing efforts to end the war in Syria, and the Iran-backed Houthi group in Yemen is obstructing peace efforts there.
“The Kingdom has an ambitious vision: it seeks not only the development and stability of Saudi Arabia, but of the entire region and its peoples, and this requires concerted efforts to stop activities that undermine security and stability,” said Prince Faisal.
Lavrov said Russia understands Saudi concerns about Iran, and wants stability in the Gulf. He added that Moscow wants dialogue between Iran and Gulf states, along with confidence-building measures.

Iran conducted a two-day naval drill in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and Thursday, as the country’s navy inaugurated its largest military vessel. According to state media, cruise missiles were fired by land units and ships.
Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and international-relations expert, said the military activity aims to attract the attention of the international community. The regime is mindful of the change of administration in Washington next week and wants to encourage a focus on a renewed deal on its nuclear program, similar to the one brokered by the Obama administration in 2015. Tehran wants this to help reintegrate with the world as a normal state, he added.
“However, the global community and the next US administration will be forced to deal with Iran cautiously, if not firmly, because Iran has already benefited from the previous opportunities,” he said.
Israeli concerns about Iran might cause the Biden administration to pay greater attention to Tehran’s activity in the region.

“The new administration won’t be like the Trump administration (which withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed tough sanctions on Tehran),” said Al-Shehri. “However, it will not be like the Obama administration either.”
There are many obstacles to the Iranian attempts to re-engage with the world, he added, including the US designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist organization and accusations about Iran’s relationship with Al-Qaeda.
“These factors will make it difficult for the US administration to deal with Iran as a normal country,” said Al-Shehri.
He also noted that the US realizes the importance of preserving its strategic ties with Saudi Arabia and other traditional allies in the region in the face of expanding Chinese and Russian influences.

Soleimani’s shadow
Qassem Soleimani left a trail of death and destruction in his wake as head of Iran’s Quds Force … until his assassination on Jan. 3, 2020. Yet still, his legacy of murderous interference continues to haunt the region

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Saudi women making their mark in science

Saudi women making their mark in science
Updated 19 January 2021

Saudi women making their mark in science

Saudi women making their mark in science

JEDDAH: Just 30 percent of women worldwide work in science, but Saudis are challenging this long-standing trend.
Women represent 58 percent of university students in Saudi Arabia, with many studying in science, technology and engineering and furthering their careers with studies overseas.
In a report by the Saudi Education Ministry, women outnumbered men in graduating with a bachelor’s in biology, information technology, mathematics, statistics, and physics.
Universities and research centers have adopted measures to support the inclusion of female scientists.
Ambitious, driven and facing challenges along the way to their success, here are the Saudi women scientists who have made a mark in the field for their extraordinary work.
Suha Kayum
Research engineer

With a career spanning 10 years, Kayum — a research engineer with Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center — was tasked with accelerating the evolution of software algorithms to enhance Aramco’s reservoir simulator, which helped the company cut costs.
Kayum was a developer for the company’s in-house basin and seismic simulators. In 2016, she designed and received a patent for an algorithm that enabled the first 1-billion cell basin simulation run.

Dr. Elaf Ahmed
Lab scientist

With a keen research interest in nano-organisms, Ahmed’s main focus while conducting postdoctoral work at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology was synthesis of environmental nano materials using electrochemically active biofilms.
She later joined the company’s Oil and Gas Treatment Division at Aramco’s Research and Development Center.
Her main focus at the division is to conduct research projects for water treatment technologies and find new ways to treat water found in oil and gas reservoirs.

Dr. Ilham Abuljadayel
Immunologist

In what could be one of the most profound achievements by a Saudi scientist, Dr. Ilham discovered the process of retrodifferentiation, a method also known as retrograde differentiation that treats blood diseases.
A common process for the maintenance of cell integrity against damaging agents, Dr. Ilham applied her findings in the first preclinical study in 2000 in collaboration with George Washington Medical Center, US, in two animal models of human diseases to study the utility of retrodifferentiated stem cells.
Her research has helped treat 390 patients with diseases ranging from sickle cell anaemia, multiple sclerosis, thalassaemia, and hepatitis C among others.
Dr. Abeer Al-Olayan
Petroleum scientist

With an academic and industrial background in various fields of chemistry spanning over 20 years, Dr. Abeer is a research scientist at Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center and is responsible for leading its chemicals development initiative.
As a fellow at MIT, she submitted a fellowship research abstract that focuses on reducing dependency on food-based chemicals to tackle drilling and subsurface challenges. She has 10 registered patents with the US Patent Office for the development of methods, materials and compositions in drilling and fluid transfer.

Dr. Malak Abed Althagafi
Physician-scientist

Diagnosed with a rare genetic disease at a young age, Althagafi got a first glimpse of what her future could be during her treatment. Her educational path started with the study of genetic diseases in children and led to molecular pathology before she focused on surgical oncology, molecular genetics and neuropathology.
Dr. Malak is one of the few American board-certified molecular neuropathologists in the world and has conducted research that focuses on decoding genetic mutations in tumors, specifically brain tumors in children.
She became part of the Saudi Human Genome Program in 2014. Her clinical and research interests are mainly in surgical oncology, pathology, molecular genetics pathology and neuropathology, especially its application for treating brain cancers.

Dr. Hind Al-Johani
Scientist of physical chemistry

Her research interest is in nano-catalysis. In 2017, this Saudi scientist discovered that by using the simple molecule of citrate ions (from citric acid) you could stabilize and control the structure of gold nanoparticles.
Using this new discovery, the findings showed that gold can carry drugs through the body without chemical side effects. Attaching antibodies can guide the nanoparticles to specific cells that need treatment. Her findings have had an impact on environmental chemistry where it may also be used for water purification or methods for capturing CO2 emissions.

Dr. Nouf Al-Numair
Molecular bioinformatics scientist
Dubbed the DNA decoder, her research focuses on predicting the early emergence of diseases through genetic mutations.
She has achieved this by merging molecular genetics and computer programming to predict the effects of mutations and provide patients with a personalized medical approach to treatment.
Using more than seven programming languages to analyze human genes, she has successfully published a number of papers with the findings.
Dr. Nouf pursued her career in STEM and is the first Saudi scientist to major in molecular genetics and programming biological information.