Category: Saudi Arabia

Al-Subhan: Saudi Arabia does not need intercession with Iran

The Saudi minister for Gulf Affairs Thamir Al-Subhan has stated that Saudi Arabia does not require reconciliation with Iran, though he indicated at the same time that he was not aware of information regarding the mediation between the two countries. Al-Subhan said in a statement to Al-Hayat: “We have received nothing regarding mediation between Riyadh and Tehran. Saudi Arabia does not require reconciliation with Iran.” He added that “the Iranians know what they must do if they want an improvement in relations with the kingdom.”

According to Reuters, Iranian state television yesterday said that the Iraqi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari had carried messages between Riyadh and Tehran in an ongoing effort to contain the dispute between Iraq’s two neighbouring countries. The network quoted Al-Jaafari’s statement that “Steps towards reconciliation have been continuous since last year,” and that “oral messages were transferred between officials of both countries during the past several months, which will try to draw their positions closer together.”

Al-Hayat on Saturday published the announcement by the Kuwaiti deputy minster of foreign affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah that Kuwait will pass a message to the Iranian side on behalf of the Gulf Co-operation Council . Al-Jarallah confirmed that “communications were still ongoing with the Iranians to find a suitable time to deliver this message.” On the other hand, the Iranian Ministry of Communications yesterday blocked the Saudi Press Agency website. The news agency Miyzan, which belongs to the Iranian judiciary, quoted a Ministry of Communications source who said that the Ministry of Culture, which is concerned with public information, had asked the Ministry to block the Saudi Press Agency’s official site.

Sources in Iran confirmed that they were unable to browse the SPA site without the use of programs for circumventing the block. Use of such programs to bypass website restrictions has been widespread in Iran since 2009 .

An official source at the Ministry of Communications said that the reason for the block was a request from the Ministry of Culture, and that a spokesman for the Assembly of Experts and Nateq Nouri, head of the Inspection Committee at the office of the Supreme Leader, have previously warned Iranians about Persian-language Saudi sites, especially ‘SPA Farsi’ and ‘Farsi News.’ These sites were able to reach Iranian readers who had long been monopolised by the Iranian government, and to correct misinformation and improve the negative image of Saudi Arabia which had been propagated by Iranian media.

Commenting on the block, Hani Al-Ghafli, a spokesperson at the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Media, told Al-Hayat that SPA publishes in six different languages, including Persian, and this block does not really worry us, because the spread of information is no longer a monopoly. Information now reaches us through websites, social media, or instant messaging like ‘Whatsapp’ and other programs. Al-Ghafli added that the block is not a surprising move by the Iranian regime, which has previously attacked the Saudi Embassy there. Demonstrators set fire to the building last year, prompting Riyadh to sever diplomatic, trade, and transport links with Iran.


Translated by Conor Fagan

Original article found here.

‘Report: Moroccan teachers lowest paid in the Arab world, after Algeria,’ Hespress (Morocco), 30 April 2014

An American report of teacher salaries in fourteen different countries places Moroccan teachers as the second lowest paid in the Arab world, just ahead of Algeria, earning an average monthly wage of $512. Continue reading

‘Saudi delegation explains kingdom’s position towards the “Syrian crisis” to members of Congress,’ Al-Hayat (Saudi Arabia), 8 February 2014

A Saudi delegate was in Washington to speak to members of Congress and American think tanks about the Gulf kingdom’s position with regards to a number of issues in the Middle East region, including the Syrian crisis and the Palestinian issue. The chair of the committee sent highlighted Saudi Arabia’s efforts in funding development and aid projects all over the world. Continue reading

‘Saudi embassy in Canada following the course of investigation into the death of a Saudi child at day care,’ Al-Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), 9 March 2014

A four-month-old Saudi child has died at an unlicensed day care run by a Canadian woman out of her private apartment in Toronto, Ontario. The Saudi embassy in Ottawa is waiting for Canadian authorities to complete their investigation into the child’s death before taking the necessary legal action. Continue reading

‘First Saudi list of terrorist organizations includes Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Nusra Front and ISIS,’ BBC Arabic (London), 7 March 2014

Saudi Arabia has released its first ever list of terrorist organizations, which includes both domestic and external groups. The Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria and the Al-Nusra Front, who are both fighting in Syria, were included in the list, as was the Muslim Brotherhood, a decision which garnered praise from the current Egyptian government. The Saudi Interior Ministry also set a 15-day deadline for Saudi nationals fighting abroad to return to the Gulf kingdom, or face consequences ranging from 3-20 years in prison. Continue reading

‘Islamic Development Bank and Kuwaiti wealth fund investing in Morocco,’ Youm7 (Egypt), 7 March 2014

The Saudi-headquartered Islamic Development Bank and the Kuwait Investment Authority wealth fund have signed an agreement to invest in Morocco’s private sector. The size of potential investments have yet to be discussed. Continue reading

‘The Israeli dream that Saudi Arabia attacks Iran is not fading’, al-Manar (Palestine), 1st March 2014

17957201411414According to the Palestinian newspaper al-Manar (connection to Hezbollah’s al-Manar unknown) Israel would like it if Saudi Arabia and Iran went to war and have mapped out possibility of Israeli strike if need be.

Continue reading

‘Branch of “General Dynamics” in Canada wins $13 billion contract in Saudi Arabia,’ al-Bawabh News (Egypt), 16 February 2014

The Canadian division of US weapons-maker General Dynamics has won a contract to provide Saudi Arabia with light armoured vehicles, services and training worth up to $13 billion dollars. The deal is expected to generate 3,000 Canadian jobs annually. Continue reading

‘America warns its citizens of security threats in Saudi Arabia,’ al-Hurra (USA), 12 February 2014

The US State Department has issued a warning to its citizens in Saudi Arabia of possible terrorist threats to Western and Saudi interests in the Gulf state. Continue reading

‘Approximately 83,000 Moroccans visited Turkey in 2013,’ Hespress (Morocco), 10 February 2014

Turkey witnessed 9% growth in the number of tourists coming from Arab states last year, with over 3 million Arabs visiting the country for a number of reason. Tourists come to Turkey from around the Middle East for a variety of reasons, including shopping opportunities, hair transplants and to purchase homes. Continue reading