Saudi Arabia Says It Is Beacon of “Light” Against Iran Despite Khashoggi Crisis

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(MEMO— Saudi Arabia and key ally Bahrain mentioned on Saturday that Gulf states are enjoying a important function in sustaining stability within the Center East by combating Iran’s “imaginative and prescient of darkness”, as Riyadh faces its worst political disaster in many years, stories Reuters.

Saudi Arabia is the lynchpin of a US-backed regional bloc in opposition to rising Iranian affect within the Center East however the homicide of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. has prompted a world outcry and strained Riyadh’s ties with the West.

“We at the moment are coping with two visions within the Center East. One is a (Saudi) imaginative and prescient of sunshine … One is an (Iranian) imaginative and prescient of darkness which seeks to unfold sectarianism all through the area,” Overseas Minister Adel al-Jubeir advised a safety summit in Bahrain.

Historical past tells us that gentle at all times wins out in opposition to the darkish … The query is how can we defeat them.

US Protection Secretary Jim Mattis mentioned on Saturday that the killing of Khashoggi, a distinguished critic of Saudi coverage, undermined regional stability and that Washington would take additional measures in opposition to these accountable after saying visa bans on 21 suspects within the case.

“Failure of anyone nation to stick to worldwide norms and the rule of regulation undermines regional stability at a time when it’s wanted most,” Mattis advised a separate session of the annual Manama Dialogue safety convention.

The long-planned occasion has been the main target of better scrutiny this yr after the killing of Khashoggi, with Jubeir questioned about how the case would have an effect on Saudi Arabia’s credibility on overseas coverage and safety issues.

He reiterated that Riyadh would convey to justice these liable for Khashoggi’s loss of life, saying they’d be prosecuted within the kingdom, a day after Turkey demanded the extradition of 18 Saudis suspected of involvement in his homicide.

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Jubeir mentioned ties between Saudi Arabia, the world’s high oil exporter, and the USA are “ironclad” and praised what he described because the “rational, lifelike” overseas coverage of the present US administration.

President Donald Trump has mentioned he needs to resolve the Khashoggi case, whereas additionally highlighting Riyadh’s function as an ally in opposition to Iran and Islamist militants, in addition to a major purchaser of US arms.

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Posted by Middle East Monitor on Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim Iran, which was not represented within the Manama convention agenda, have lengthy been locked in a proxy struggle, competing for regional supremacy from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon to Yemen.

Trump, who in Could withdraw the USA from a 2015 worldwide nuclear accord with Tehran, has strongly backed Saudi Arabia in its efforts to counter Iran’s affect. The following wave of US sanctions in opposition to Iran are on account of come into impact on Nov four.

Iran, for its half, accuses Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of funding gunmen who attacked a army parade in Iran final month, killing 25 folks, 12 of them had been members of the elite Revolutionary Guards. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have denied any involvement.

The Guards accused them of making “plots and tensions”.

Bahrain’s overseas minister, Shiekh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, advised the convention the Gulf bloc would stay a “pillar” of regional safety and that a proposed safety alliance grouping the USA, Gulf states, Jordan and Egypt can be activated subsequent yr.

Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut off travel and trade ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of backing their archrival, Iran, and supporting terrorism. Qatar denies the fees and says the boycott impinges on its sovereignty.