Saudi FM says Hezbollah fired failed missile from Yemen, calls it ‘an act of war’ by Iran


File photo of  Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
File photo of
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
Saudi Arabia regards the failed ballistic missile attack on Riyadh’s international airport Saturday as an act of war by Iran and will take “appropriate” measures when the time is right, the country’s Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir told CNN Monday.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for firing the projectile on Saturday, which was intercepted by Saudi defense forces before it hit the ground. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies accuse Iran of providing material support to the rebels.

“It was an Iranian missile, launched by Hezbollah, from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen,” al-Jubeir told CNN, referring to Shia militias in Lebanon and Yemen closely allied to Tehran.

“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.

Al-Jubeir said the missile was made in Iran and smuggled in parts into Yemen, where he claimed “operatives from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah” helped put it back together again and then launch it.

Al-Jubeir, pictured in 2015, said Saudi Arabia would “react at the appropriate time” to the missile launch.

“We reserve the right to respond in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time,” said the softly-spoken career diplomat.

He declined to say what those measures against Iran might be.

“This is a very, very hostile act,” he said. “We have been extending our hand to Iran since 1979 in friendship, and what we get back is death and destruction.”

Earlier Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi described Saudi claims about Tehran’s involvement as “false, irresponsible, destructive and provocative,” the Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.

CNN spoke to al-Jubeir — who was the Saudi ambassador to the United States before becoming Foreign Minister — after an extraordinary series of events at the weekend that began with the resignation of the Lebanese Prime Minister from the Saudi capital and ended with the detainment of a large group of high-profile Saudi princes and ministers on corruption charges, along with other officials and prominent businessmen.
Saudi to close ports and borders with Yemen

Al-Jubeir said Iran could not just “sit there” and expect to get “a free pass” to meddle in countries in the region, citing Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain.

He added that Saturday’s missile was similar to one fired from Yemen in July that was shot down close to the Saudi city of Mecca, a month before the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest site.

Al-Jubeir confirmed to CNN on Monday that his country was closing its ports and borders with Yemen to stop Iranian penetration of the Kingdom.

He insisted however that humanitarian aid would still make it through to the millions of people suffering from malnutrition and cholera brought on by the years-long proxy war between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and Saudi Arabia.

“Our objective is to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, but do it in such a way that Iran and its militias and its proxies cannot use that access in order to smuggle weapons and technology that can be re-assembled into missiles in Yemen, that will then be used against us and against the Yemeni people,” he said.

Al-Jubeir:enough is enough

With regard to Hariri’s bombshell resignation Saturday, al-Jubeir said: “It is very clear that Hezbollah is undercutting him at every turn, that it is doing Iran’s bidding, that the Lebanese political system became paralyzed, that the issue of a government that could act independently was a sham, it was Hezbollah who were calling the shots, and he basically said enough is enough.”

The Saudi Foreign Minister said that as a dual passport holder with both Saudi and Lebanese citizenship, Hariri would be able to leave the Kingdom if he so chooses.

Lebanon’s Interior Minister said Monday he expected Hariri to return in a few days.

Saudi Arabia’s ‘zero tolerance policy’ on corruption

Al-Jubeir also described as “nonsense” speculation that Saturday’s shock arrests of princes and ministers on corruption charges amounted to a grab for power and a purge of opponents by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom has a “zero tolerance policy on terrorism” and now, also “a zero tolerance policy on corruption,” al-Jubeir said. “I assure you that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes very, very seriously the issue of corruption, waste, and mismanagement.”

“There is a reason why everybody was brought in or detained and will be questioned and will be investigated and these have to do with the commission. I’m sure when the investigations are complete that people will know what the reasons are.”

Al-Jubeir said the arrests were in line with the Kingdom’s plans to diversify the economy and modernize society by 2030 and achieve economic growth, rejecting suggestions that the detentions could put off potential investors.

“We want investors to have confidence in our system,” he said. “We want companies to know that when they come to compete in Saudi Arabia they will compete fair and square with any other company and not be subject to people using their influence or their position in order to extract better deals.”




15 responses to “Saudi FM says Hezbollah fired failed missile from Yemen, calls it ‘an act of war’ by Iran”

  1. Did Iran fire the missile?

    Either way, sure and why not: “act of war”.

    What now?

    1. Attack the fvcking Iranians of course. Iran wants a fight, so give it to them.
      Enough of the mullah lies. The evidence is there and the motive is there. They did it so stop trying to hide from it. Be a man.
      The middle east needs to reboot and total war is the only way to stop the Iranians proxy game.

      1. What did I tell you in an earlier comment?: “I know you climax at the idea of a total war …”

        Instead of preaching “be a man”, practise it. Go ahead and attack Iran and see what happens. Iran is not one of those who can’t or won’t fight back.

        The ME is rebooting but with new players. I told you and I’ll repeat: get used to it.

        1. Iran has already started the war, it has just not claimed to be involved yet. How else will Iran stop arming proxies? The only way forward is war, like it or not. Iran can not continue to destabilize the entire ME and not have to bear some responsibility. There will never be peace with all the Hezbullah minions running around the entire region trying to bring down governments on Iran’s request. Sorry I know how hard to try to defend Iran and defect all the shiite they do, but war really is the only way with defiant mullahs spreading revolution.

          1. Where exactly does the century-long Anglo-American meddling, invasions, conflicts and wars fit in your equation?

            What about the Anglo-American Wahhabi puppets who have quietly spread its ultra-conservative brand of Islam throughout the Muslim world, secretly undermined secular regimes in its region and prudently kept to the shadows, while others did the fighting and dying. It was Saudi money that fueled the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, underwrote Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran, and bankrolled Islamic movements and terrorist groups from the Caucuses to Hindu Kush.

            Your concept of peace is to subjugate people. You can try as hard as you want, history has shown that while it may work at the beginning, people always rise and the conqueror is pushed back.

          2. master09 Avatar

            The head shoe polisher for Iran and Hassan is not too far when they are mentioned. Big O is just around the corner or under Nassarallas dress.

  2. Iran does not have the balls to fight directly. So basically if the Saudis arm Iran’s enemy to launch missiles into Iran it would constitute the same actions that Iran uses. The Saudis should launch attacks against Iran instead of the coward fight that Iran employs..

  3. Leaked cable confirms Israel and Saudi Arabia are working together to start a Middle East war

    Evidence proving that Saudis and Israelis are coordinating to escalate the situation in the Middle East.

    1. Unfortunately, when it comes to dealing with Iran’s threats the Arab nations are left with very few options. What is happening in Saudi Arabia right now could lead to any possibility . I will not rule out anything at this stage . Remember the ancient proverb ” the enemy of my enemy is my friend “? The only thing I want to say here is God help Lebanon , because we could be the country that will suffer the most

      1. The only threat is Anglo-American.

    2. As I have said before, Iran has already started the war and made many attacks though its proxies and other countries. How long should these countries put up with Iran’s proxy attacks before they can stop Iran’s terror? Or do you also deny the mountains of evidence of Hezb/Iran involvement? I am guessing you will.

      1. Yes, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, etc were starts by Iran. As ever, your logic shines.

        1. Rudy1947 Avatar

          Which wars in those countries? The year of such war is important.

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