MPs Tell Saudis: Stop Provocative Measures

MPs Tell Saudis: Stop Provocative MeasuresMPs Tell Saudis: Stop Provocative Measures

A lawmaker said Saudi officials should stop their series of actions against Iran aimed at provoking the country and escalating regional tensions.

In an interview with ICANA, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Seyyed Baqer Hosseini, said the latest Saudi moves look absurd.

Hosseini was referring to media reports on the Saudi decision to try four Iranian nationals over allegations of involvement in acts threatening the kingdom’s security.

The website of Arab News on Friday quoted a report by Saudi Gazette as saying that the four Iranians, including an alleged spy, will stand trial in the near future.

“The Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution is in the process of referring the case of four Iranian nationals implicated in national security issues to the Special Criminal Court pending their trial,” said the report, adding that the four were arrested in 2013 and 2014.

It said one of the four was arrested in March 2013, when Saudi authorities claimed to have busted an espionage cell, which included 24 Saudi citizens and three expatriates from Iran, Lebanon and Turkey. It said the other three Iranians, who were arrested in 2014, are still under investigation.

Hosseini rejected the allegations and declared that “these are not true by any means” and warned Saudis that “playing with fire would result in nothing good”.

The lawmaker said the decisions of “young and immature” Saudi leaders are resulting in escalated tensions, pointing to the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on January 2.

The execution led to protests across the region and the world, as well as angry demonstrations in front of Saudi diplomatic posts in the two Iranian cities of Tehran and Mashhad, and an attack on buildings by some people, in response to which Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran.

Hosseini said intensification of regional conflicts would only benefit Israel, an enemy of Muslims.

Hossein Naqavi Hosseini, another member of Majlis, told ICANA in an interview that the statements of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir accusing Iran of supporting terrorism are “unfounded”.

“Iran has adopted a clear and strict policy against terrorism,” he said. “This is while Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of extremism and it is actually supporting terrorist groups.”

Jubeir said on Tuesday that Tehran was responsible for tensions rising after the kingdom executed Nimr.

Insisting that Riyadh would react to “Iranian aggression”, he accused Tehran of dispatching fighters to Arab countries and plotting attacks inside the kingdom and its Persian Gulf neighbors.