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Have credible evidence of Iran’s role in missile attack: Saudi envoy



Saud Mohammed Al-Sati

Saudi Ambassador to India Saud Al-Sati has said that his country has “credible evidence” that Iran was behind the missile attack on Saudi capital Riyadh by Yemen-based Houthi rebels earlier this month even as Tehran has denied any role in this.

“We have credible evidence which proves that Iran is behind manufacturing of missiles used by terror groups and smuggling them into Yemen,” Al-Sati told IANS in an exclusive interview.

“Measures have been taken to address vulnerabilities in the current inspection procedures that led to the supply of weapons and missiles to Houthi militias,” he stated.

The Houthi rebels fired a long-range missile at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on the night of November 4, according to Houthi-controlled Saba news agency.

Saudi Arabia immediately blamed the Houthis’ allies, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah and regional rival Iran.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, experts in military technology, after thorough examination of the debris, have confirmed the role of Iran in manufacturing missiles and smuggling these to the Houthi militias in Yemen for the purpose of attacking the Gulf kingdom.

Yemen has been in a state of political crisis since 2011 ending with the Houthis taking over the capital Sanaa and then, after ousting President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in a coup d’etat, declaring control over the country. This resulted in the Saudi-led Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen making a military intervention to prevent the collapse of Hadi’s government.

“The Houthi terrorist groups backed, funded and armed by Iran are continuing their crimes against the people of Yemen and its legitimate institutions,” Al-Sati said.

“In fact, the UNSC 2216 resolution had asked them to refrain from any provocation or threats to neighboring states, including acquiring surface-to-surface missiles, and stockpiling weapons in any border territory of a neighboring states; and to end the recruitment and use of children in their violent activities. None of this has stopped.”

Asked how the international community has reacted to the latest development, the Ambassador said that “Iran cannot lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns through its proxies (Houthis and Hezbollah) and expect us not to take steps to counteract the threat under the UN article 51” and added that many countries, including India, have condemned the attack.

India, in statement, while “strongly condemning” the attack, expressed deep concern “at any escalation of violence that threatens the safety and security of innocent people”. “We also reiterate our commitment to fight against all forms of terrorism and violence,” the Indian External Affairs Ministry statement said.

As for the escalating humanitarian crisis in Yemen, Al-Sati said that Saudi Arabia has shown “utmost concern” for this.

“We have been sending aid to all Yemeni provinces, including areas controlled by the Houthi rebels, through King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre’s programmes,” he said.

“Overall, the kingdom has committed to provide more than $8.2 billion in humanitarian and developmental assistance to Yemen since April 2015. Despite hostilities, the Saudi led Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen has not interrupted the entry and exit of humanitarian supplies and crews to Yemen.”

Though the coalition ordered all transport in and out of Yemen to prevent arms smuggling, the Saudi mission in the UN said on Monday that the Aden, Mocha and Mukalla ports were resuming operations as also Aden and Seyoun airports so that humanitarian food aid can come in for the affected civilian population.

With over three million expatriate Indians living in Saudi Arabia, the Ambassador said that his country appreciated India’s concern, but added: “As of now, we do not see any possible impact on the Indians working in our country due to these acts of terror perpetrated by Iran’s proxies. It is our duty to protect everyone within our borders including the Indians living there.”

Asked what role he expected the UN to play in the current scenario, he said that the the UN Security Council and its sanctions committee should take all necessary legal measures to hold Iran accountable for supplying the Houthi militias that it commands with missiles as it is a blatant violation of the UNSC Resolution 2216,. which prohibits nations from arming militias.

“This aggression also signals to the fact that the threat of such terrorist groups has become increasingly cross border and cross regional, which requires a united stand from the international community to fight and eradicate this threat caused by the Houthi terrorist group and its supporter,” Al-Sati said.

(Aroonim Bhuyan can be contacted at [email protected])


13 Israelis suffer facial paralysis post inoculation

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.





Jerusalem, Jan 17 : At least 13 Israelis suffered mild facial paralysis as a side effect after receiving the first Covid vaccine jabs, the Health Ministry said, adding that the count could be higher.

The officials have raised questions on whether or not to administer the second dose to these individuals the Health Ministry had recommended for the second dose, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

“I can’t say it was completely gone afterwards, but other than that I had no other pains, except a minor pain where the injection was, but there was nothing beyond that.”

As for receiving the second dose, he admits he is undecided, but says that “it is important to note that this is something rare, and I don’t want people to avoid getting vaccinated – it’s important”.

“I recently came across, for example, someone vaccinated who was dealing with paralysis, and decided not to give her a second dose,” Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Centre told Ynet.

“It is true that it can be given according to the Health Ministry, but I did not feel comfortable with it.”

She added that, “No one knows if this is connected to the vaccine or not. That’s why I would refrain from giving a second dose to someone who suffered from paralysis after the first dose.”

However, the Health Ministry has assured of the second dose only when the paralysis passes, Ynet reported.

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Saudi Arabia, the Largest Producer of Oil, Will Now Create a City Without Cars or Roads

A Saudi statement said construction would start in the first quarter of 2021 and that the city was expected to contribute $48 billion to the kingdom’s gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs.



saudi arabia

Saudi Arabia‘s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has come out with his latest vision for the nation which is the largest producer of oil – an ambitious non-carbon emissions city without cars or roads.

The project named “The Line” will be home to a million people and have no cars and no streets, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said, Arab News reported. “The city will be a 170 kilometer belt of “hyper-connected future communities,” and will be built around the natural environment,” he said.

Prince Mohammed said there was a need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one. “By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90 per cent of people breathe polluted air,” he added.

“Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?” he said, according to the report.

The project is part of the prince’s plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, the first major construction project for the $500 billion flagship business zone aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy.

The prince later told reporters in the northwestern city of Al Ula that the project was the conclusion of three years of preparation, adding that its infrastructure would cost $100 billion to $200 billion.

“The backbone of investment in ‘The Line’ will come from the $500 billion support to NEOM by the Saudi government, PIF and local and global investors over 10 years,” he added.

The kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), is the cornerstone investor in NEOM, a 26,500-square-km (10,230-square-mile) high-tech development on the Red Sea with several zones, including an industrial and logistics areas, planned for completion in 2025.

There have been few announcements regarding NEOM since it was announced by de facto ruler Prince Mohammed to much fanfare in 2017 as a pillar of his Vision 2030 plan to rid Saudi Arabia of its reliance on crude oil revenues.

A Saudi statement said construction would start in the first quarter of 2021 and that the city was expected to contribute $48 billion to the kingdom’s gross domestic product and create 380,000 jobs.

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OPEC allows Russia, Kazakhstan to raise output

Kazakhstan will boost its production by 10,000 bpd to 14,27,000 bpd in February and by another 10,000 bpd to 14,37,000 bpd in March.





Moscow, Jan 6 : The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-bloc producers agreed to allow Russia and Kazakhstan to slightly raise oil output in the next two months.

In accordance with a deal published by the OPEC, Russia will increase its output by 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the January level to 91,84,000 bpd in February and by another 65,000 bpd to 9,249,000 bpd in March, the Xinhua news agency reported.

Kazakhstan will boost its production by 10,000 bpd to 14,27,000 bpd in February and by another 10,000 bpd to 14,37,000 bpd in March.

All the remaining participants in the OPEC+ mechanism will keep their output unchanged from January.

The OPEC+ has introduced caps on production to stabilize global oil prices.

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