Published: Sat, May 18, 2019

Saudi paper, close to MBS, calls on United States to strike Iran

Saudi paper, close to MBS, calls on United States to strike Iran

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has urged the United States and Iran to exercise restraint and resolve their all issues through talks to avoid conflict.

It's intelligence they say shows Iran moving missiles onto boats in the Persian Gulf.

"We need to address Iran's behavior clearly, but at the same time not to be baited into crisis", Gargash said in an interview with Bloomberg Television late on Wednesday.

Pakistan also has close ties with Saudi Arabia and it maintains a balancing act between Riyadh and Tehran.

All Iranian ports (except for the port of Chabahar) are located in the Persian Gulf.

The move to increase the threat level was also shared by the United Kingdom on Thursday. Logistically supported by the British, French and Americans. This is a behaviour that is not new to the region.

"Just tanker incidents are unlikely to affect tourism and business though; it would probably take an attack involving civilian casualties to substantially shift the mood", he added.

"The US has set a precedent, and it had a telling effect: The Trump strikes on Syria when the Assad regime used Sarin gas against its people".

The front-page editorial in the Arab News, published in English, said it's "clear that (U.S.) sanctions are not sending the right message" and that "they must be hit hard", without elaborating on specific targets.

The Arab News, a major English-language Saudi Arabian newspaper owned by Saudi Prince Turki bin Salman (brother of crown prince Mohamed bin Salman) has always been treated as virtually an official government mouthpiece. He accused the US and regional nations of airing "false allegations" about Iran.

USA officials are now concerned that Iran has passed this naval combat expertise on to proxy forces in the region, whom Washington blames for attacks against four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. "And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that".

Iran has experienced marines who could have carried out this type of operation, or they could have outsourced the mission to local forces, possibly Houthis, said Hossein Aryan, a military analyst who served 18 years in the Iranian navy before and after the Islamic revolution.

Iran blamed Israel for a cyberattack on its communications infrastructure in November.

The rebels said Tuesday's attacks were a response to "crimes" committed by Saudi Arabia during its bloody air war in Yemen, that has been criticized repeatedly by the United Nations and human rights groups. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia reopened the key oil pipeline and officials say that it "is fully operational".

Accusing Iran of Tuesday's attack on Saudi oil-pumping stations and on oil tankers off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE two days earlier, the paper advocated "decisive, punitive reaction to what happened so that Iran knows that every single move they make will have consequences".

"The attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias against the two Aramco pumping stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran's regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region", he wrote on Twitter.

"Iran is exporting know-how for unmanned boats and drones", said an official from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, who asked not be identified, noting that up to 50 members of Lebanon's Iranian-trained Hezbollah guerrilla group and the Revolutionary Guards train and advise Houthi fighters.

Recent days have brought allegations of sabotage attacks targeting oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline claimed by Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi rebels, and the dispatch of US warships and bombers to the region.

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