Missile Targeting Saudi Airport Was Iranian, Says US Official

Colonel Richard Kemp Asharq Al-Awsat

Colonel Richard Kemp Asharq Al-Awsat

"France is fully aware of our country's firm position that Iran's defence affairs are not negotiable", said Qassemi brushing aside the French leader's request, adding that "other issues will not be allowed to be added to it (the deal)".

A ballistic missile that was intercepted near the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh Saturday came from Iran, it was reported.

The uncovered wreckage of the missile indicated "the role of the Iranian regime in manufacturing", Saudi Arabia's Foreign Ministry said earlier this week, without providing further details. "So we should negotiate a new series of criteria and a new treaty with Iran to stop their ballistic activities in the region", he said, adding that Iran's role in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen "destabilizes a lot of people and the whole region".

"There are negotiations we need to start on Iran's ballistic missiles", Macron said.

Saudi Arabia long has accused Iran of giving weapons to the Shiite rebels known as Houthis and their allies, though Tehran has just as long denied supplying them.

Qassemi urged France to pursue "realistic, fair and far-sighted" policies on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region. The missile had been fired by Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been defending the impoverished country against a deadly Saudi-led invasion since March 2015.

When asked whether Saudi Arabia was headed for a direct conflict with Iran, Al-Jubeir replied, "We hope not".

Qassemi said the French president and officials know very well that leveling such accusations against Iran is not in conformity with the realities on the ground in the Middle East in recent decades.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of the deal, refusing to recertify that Iran is complying with its obligations and violating the "spirit" of the accord.

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