Iraq Dismisses Saudi Envoy's Anti-Iran Claims

Iraq Dismisses Saudi Envoy's Anti-Iran ClaimsIraq Dismisses Saudi Envoy's Anti-Iran Claims

The Iraqi Interior Ministry rejected claims by Saudi Ambassador in Baghdad Thamer al-Sabhan that Iran had plans to assassinate him with the help of Shia popular forces in Iraq.

"The Saudi Embassy had not informed at all the security bodies on plots to assassinate the ambassador in Baghdad and that he was in danger," Spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry Colonel Sa'd Ma'n said on Monday, Fars News Agency reported.

He called on the Arab media to release reports based on comments of reliable sources and avoid reflecting the views of those who are attempting to display the security situation in Iraq as grave and undermine the performance of Iraqi security forces.

His remarks came after Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday that "Iran is plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Iraq Thamer al-Sabhan using RPJ7 rockets on his armored car".

The Saudi ambassador has been criticized for his interfering remarks and undiplomatic behavior in recent months.

In June, a senior Iraqi lawmaker called on his government to take serious measures against the Saudi ambassador and said Sabhan is in Iraq to support the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group. "The reinstatement of Sabhan in Baghdad is meant to support IS," member of the Iraqi Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee, Mesal al-Alousi, said. Alaousi stressed that Saudi Arabia meddles in the internal affairs of all the regional countries, and said, "For the same reason, the Iraqi government should confront that country's ambassador in Baghdad."

"Saudi Arabia claims that it respects the Iraqi people and Shias, but it supports IS," he added.