Prince Khalid: Iran helped Qaeda kill thousands of Saudis, Americans

US identified a senior Iranian official as one of some two dozen suspects responsible for the 1996 Khobar bombing.

:: In a series of tweets both in English and Arabic, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman lambasted Iran’s provision of support to terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and said that Riyadh’s top priority has and always will be focused on countering terrorism.

“KSA has been the primary target of Al Qaeda and with Iran’s help, it has killed thousands of Saudis and Americans. We will remain committed to fighting this evil with our partners across the world. Meanwhile, the regime continues its brazen policy of support for global terrorism,” the ambassador tweeted.

Prince Khalid gave several examples to make his argument, pointing to older events like the attack on the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979, the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia which killed 19 Americans and as recent as in 2016 when Iranians attacked Riyadh’s embassy and consulate in Tehran and Masshad. All events had direct links to the Iranian regime, the ambassador said.

“A US Federal Judge found that [al-Qaeda]’s attacks in 1998 against US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam would not have been possible without direct assistance from Iran. Prior to their meetings with Iranian agents [al-Qaeda] did not possess the technical expertise to carry out the attack,” Prince Khalid wrote.

He went on to cite The Abottabad files, a cache of documents recovered by US forces during a 2011 raid on Osama bin Ladin’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Al Arabiya English has reported extensively on the files which could be read here.

“The Abottabad files released by @CIA in November unequivocally prove Al Qaeda’s collusion with Iran in training, recruiting and facilitating movement of hijackers to attack the US. Osama Bin Laden described Iran as his main artery for funds, personnel and communication,” the ambassador tweeted.

The ambassador went on to say that up until the present day, the Iranian regime continues to harbor al-Qaeda terrorists, including Hamza bin Laden, Osama bin Laden’s son and the alleged heir of the extremist group and who “continues to live safely in Iran, from which he releases fatwas ordering followers to attack Saudi Arabia and the US.

“Iran hasn’t responded to Saudi Arabia’s requests to hand him over for trial,” he wrote.

Iran’s ongoing support, Prince Khalid reminded, and its effects are still seen today when the ambassador reminded how Tehran attempts to assassinate its opponents on European soil. He used a recent example of Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat suspected of involvement in a bomb plot against an Iranian opposition rally in France and is currently being detained and charged in Germany.

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