Mauritania condemns missile attack on Saudi airport

Sergio Conner
November 8, 2017

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain lined up behind Saudi Arabia after it accused Tehran of backing a thwarted missile strike - what it called an "act of war" - at Riyadh's worldwide airport over the weekend.

Also Wednesday, the conservative Iranian daily Kayhan was given a two-day suspension for Monday's front-page headline "Ansar Allah (Yemen's Huthi rebels) fire missile at Riyadh: the next target will be Dubai".

"These missile systems were not present in Yemen before the conflict, and we call upon the United Nations to conduct a thorough examination of evidence that the Iranian regime is perpetuating the war in Yemen to advance its regional ambitions", the statement added.

A day after USA ambassador Nikki Haley raised the Iran issue in the UN, President Rouhani warned both the USA and Saudi Arabia that it will achieve nothing by threatening "the might of Iran".

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"We strongly condemn the missile attack reportedly targeting the Riyadh airport.We also reiterate our commitment to fight against all forms of terrorism and violence", it said. He said United Nations agencies operating in Yemen weren't notified beforehand about the closure of the ports and only heard about it from media. "People more powerful than you have been unable to do anything against the Iranian people", Rouhani said. Adding to turmoil in the region, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri unexpectedly resigned in a speech from Saudi Arabia this week, blaming Iran and the militant group Hezbollah for creating a state within a state.

Saudi Arabia has led a military intervention in Yemen since 2015 in support of its internationally recognised government during which more than 8,650 people have been killed.

During a press conference Tuesday, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S.is encouraging authorities in Saudi Arabia to pursue the prosecution of corrupted officials. The ban was prompted by the bitter enmity between Hadi and the United Arab Emirates, a key coalition member, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

"The U.S. needs to return to old, tried and tested relationships, with Israel and Saudi Arabia being cornerstone U.S. allies in the region", he said. The Saudis and the UAE are the main pillars of the coalition.

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