Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Saudi Crown Prince: Iran Supply of Rockets Is Military Aggression

Saudi Crown Prince: Iran Supply of Rockets Is Military Aggression

Tuesday, 7 November, 2017 - 08:45 رقم العدد [ 14224]
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 24, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Tuesday that Iran’s supply of rockets to militias in Yemen is an act of “direct military aggression”, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

The supply of rockets to the Iran-allied rebel Houthi movement could “constitute an act of war against the Kingdom,” SPA quoted the crown prince as saying in a telephone call with the British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.

The crown prince told Johnson that the Iranian regime’s involvement in providing Houthi militias, which are affiliated with it, with missiles is a direct, military aggression by Tehran and amounts to being viewed as an act of war against the kingdom.

Johnson and the crown prince also discussed regional and international developments during the phone call, SPA reported.

On Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi militia in Yemen accused them of “dangerous escalation (that) came because of Iranian support” after Saudi air defenses intercepted a ballistic missile that was fired towards Riyadh on Saturday by the Houthi militia.

It was brought down near Riyadh airport without causing casualties.

Iran has denied it was behind the missile launch, rejecting the Saudi and US statements condemning Tehran as “destructive and provocative” and “slanders”.

In an interview with CNN television on Monday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the armed Lebanese Hezbollah group was behind firing the missile at Riyadh from Houthi-held territory.

"It was an Iranian missile, launched by Hezbollah, from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen," Jubeir told CNN.

"We see this as an act of war," he said. "Iran can not lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns and expect us not to take steps," he added, citing article 51 of the UN Charter whereby a nation can act if an armed attack occurs against it.

He said the missile was similar to one launched in July at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia and was manufactured in Iran, disassembled and smuggled into Yemen, then reassembled by the operatives of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah, “then it was launched into Saudi Arabia.”

In reaction to the missile, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen said on Monday it would close all air, land and sea ports to the Arabian Peninsula country.

Editor Picks