Security

Saudis slam provocative Iranian statements

By Sultan al-Barei in Riyadh

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Saudi soldiers reveal the remains of missiles, that a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia claim are Iranian during a press conference at the Armed Forces club in Riyadh on March 26th. [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]

Recent statements about Saudi Arabia made by an Iranian army general are deliberately provocative and constitute a form of political incivility which intentionally contributes to keeping the region on edge, Saudi officials said.

This type of verbal assault has been an integral part of Iran's attacks on the kingdom, they told Al-Mashareq, along with physical aggression delivered via Yemen's Houthis (Ansarallah) and Lebanon's Hizbullah.

"Saudi Arabia is incapable of holding out for more than 48 hours against Iran's military capabilities," Brig. Gen. Rida Khorram Toussi, senior adviser to the Iranian army command, said in a statement Wednesday (April 18th).

"Saudi Arabia ought not issue statements against Iran that are not commensurate with the extent of the kingdom’s military capabilities," he added.

The Iranian general's statement can only be seen as "political incivility" and a clear threat of war against Saudi Arabia, said Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Shehri, former Saudi army officer and military attaché.

Such rhetoric is in keeping with the general plan of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the region, predicated on undermining peace and stability via affiliated sectarian militias, he told Al-Mashareq.

Constant attacks on the kingdom

"In the case of Saudi Arabia specifically, the threats are a continuation of the actions of the Houthis, which include constant attacks on the kingdom with long-range missiles," he said.

The Iran-backed militia obtains these missiles from the IRGC either directly or with support in their manufacture and launch, he noted.

The IRGC also poses a threat to the kingdom through its attempt to infiltrate Saudi society with religious and political ideology with the help of Hizbullah, its largest partner in the region, he said.

The Iranian general's statements reveal that Iran is determined to foster regional tensions, King Saud University media professor Salman Dhahi told Al-Mashareq.

The statement and threat cannot be separated from the physical threat of Iranian-made missiles fired at the kingdom by the Houthis, he said.

It is incumbent upon Arab and other countries to put an end to these military and political attacks before Iran drags the region into a war, whose price would be paid dearly by the people of the region, he said.

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