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Riyadh Warns Tehran it Will ‘Respond Appropriately’ to its Arming of Yemen’s Houthis

Riyadh Warns Tehran it Will ‘Respond Appropriately’ to its Arming of Yemen’s Houthis

Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 - 06:45
Houthi fighters in Yemen chant slogans as they take part in a gathering in the capital, Sana’a, in July. (AFP)

Saudi Arabia warned on Monday it would “appropriately respond” to Iran’s involvement in providing Houthi rebels in Yemen with ballistic missiles that targeted the Kingdom’s territories.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir tweeted that his country reserved the right to respond to Iran’s “hostile actions,” adding that the Kingdom would not tolerate “any infringement” on its national security.

Al-Jubeir’s comments came following a weekend ballistic missile intercepted by Saudi Arabia’s air defenses and brought down near Riyadh airport without causing any casualties.

“Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighboring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement on our national security,” the Foreign Minister said.

For its part, Washington announced on Monday it welcomes the Saudi statement to confront Iran’s hostile role in the region.

“We continue to maintain strong defense ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and work together on common security priorities, to include combat operations against violent extremist organizations, and neutralizing Iran’s destabilizing influence in the Middle East region,” Pentagon spokesman Marine Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said.

The Command of the Coalition forces also said Monday it considers Iran’s behavior as a blatant military aggression, which may amount to an act of war.

Meanwhile, in Tehran, an Iranian newspaper close to the Supreme Leader wrote in the headline of its Monday issue a title saying that Houthi rebels in Yemen will next target Dubai, after their Saturday’s ballistic missile attack at Riyadh’s airport.

The newspaper alluded that Iran was involved in the Riyadh attack, despite attempts from the Iranian Foreign Ministry to justify the aggression by trying to escape from Tehran’s direct responsibility.

Bahram Qassemi, spokesperson for Iran's foreign ministry, said the coalition’s accusations that Iran was responsible for the missile launch late on Saturday, was "malicious, irresponsible, destructive and provocative".

He said the Yemeni attack was an “independent response” and a result of Saudi Arabia's measures, “which are not carried out or provoked by any other country.”

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