Saudi Arabia has accused Iran on Monday of a possible “act of war against the kingdom” by the missile that the Yemeni Huthi launched last Saturday against the airport of Riyadh and reserves the right to respond.
Tehran has rejected the allegations, but the verbal escalation coincides with a particularly sensitive moment in the Arab country. The crown prince, Mohamed Bin Salman, has just carried out a palatial purge to consolidate his power and can not afford a weak flank.
The air defense bought to EE. UU intercepted the projectile near the airport of Riyadh, north of the capital without causing damage. Saudi investigators claim that the remains, which fell on an uninhabited area, prove that it was Iranian-made.
The coalition that heads Saudi Arabia in Yemen has announced the closure of all the air, maritime and land borders of that country “to stop the flow of Iranian arms” to the rebels. The measure can only exacerbate the humanitarian disaster over the Houthi-controlled regions, where 80% of Yemenis live and are already under Saudi embargo.
“The missile was a reprisal for the bombing [Saudi] that killed a score of civilians [last Wednesday]. The Saudis aborted the target, but almost. Actually, they will use it as an excuse in the global anti-Iran policy, “interprets a European diplomat with contacts in both countries.
The same source links to this strategy the recent resignation of Saad Hariri as Lebanese prime minister for fear of an attack he blamed without mentioning Hezbollah and Tehran. Hariri, who has a Saudi passport, made the announcement in Riyadh.
But what is beginning to worry the observers is that the United States seems to back Saudi rhetoric against Iran instead of trying to ease the tension. President Donald Trump has also blamed Tehran for the missile attack, something that the leader of the Revolutionary Guards called “infundio”.
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif has accused Saudi Arabia of being involved “in wars of aggression, regional bullying , destabilizing behavior and dangerous provocations” and blaming Iran for the consequences.
It is not the first time that the Huthi launch missiles against Saudi territory, but the first time they reach Riyadh. The news, which generated great concern in the capital, was soon eclipsed by the purge of princes, ministers, military commanders and other high officials occurred during the night from Saturday to Sunday. For the moment, an official list of detainees in the anti-corruption campaign has not yet been published; neither are the specific charges known.
In the first clue to this, legal sources cited by the newspaper Al Madina on Monday say that the main crimes contemplated are money laundering, embezzlement and stock market manipulation.
Connoisseur of the abuses and corruption of the elites of his country, Jamal Khashoggi, a self-exiled Saudi journalist in the USA. However, he recalled in a platform published in The Washington Post, that the arrests have taken place “in a climate of complete intolerance at the slightest criticism. “