May 17, 2019 | The Jerusalem Post

Saudi Paper Urges Military Strikes Against Iran

May 17, 2019 | The Jerusalem Post

Saudi Paper Urges Military Strikes Against Iran

The Riyadh daily Arab News called for targeted military strikes against the Islamic Republic of Iran because Tehran is suspected of using its proxies to attack Saudi and United Arab Emirates energy and oil installations.

In an eye-popping editorial on Thursday, the paper wrote: “The next logical step – in this newspaper’s view – should be surgical strikes. The US has set a precedent, and it had a telling effect: The Trump strikes on Syria when the Assad regime used Sarin gas against its people.”

The English-language broadsheet added: “We argue this because it is clear that sanctions are not sending the right message. If the Iranian regime were not too used to getting away with their crimes, they would have taken up the offer from President Trump to get on the phone and call him in order to reach a deal that would be in the best interests of the Iranian people themselves. As the two recent attacks indicate, the Iranians insist on disrupting the flow of energy around the world, putting the lives of babies in incubators at risk, threatening hospitals and airports, attacking civilian ships and putting innocent lives in danger.”

The editorial is titled: “Editorial: Iran must not go unpunished.”

Arab News wrote: “As the case always is with the Iranian leadership, they bury their heads in the sand and pretend that they have done nothing. Nevertheless, investigations indicate that they were behind the attack on our brothers in the UAE while their Houthi militias targeted the Saudi pipelines.”

Yemen-based Houthis serve as Iran’s proxy in that country’s civil war.

The paper’s tough editorial was prompted by sabotage in the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia. “The attacks on Tuesday by armed drones on Saudi oil-pumping stations, and two days beforehand on oil tankers off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE, represent a serious escalation on the part of Iran and its proxies, should the initial conclusions of an international investigation prove to be accurate.”

The Saudi paper’s editorial is among the strongest editorials written against the clerical regime in Tehran. The United States government classifies Iran’s regime as the leading international state-sponsor of terrorism.

The paper wrote, “Our point of view is that they must be hit hard. They need to be shown that the circumstances are now different. We call for a decisive, punitive reaction to what happened so that Iran knows that every single move they make will have consequences. The time has come for Iran not only to curb its nuclear weapon ambitions — again in the world’s interest — but also for the world to ensure that they do not have the means to support their terror networks across the region.”

The editorial concluded with a hope that other pressure points short of war can be exhausted but with the caveat of the need for military deterrence: “We respect the wise and calm approach of politicians and diplomats calling for investigations to be completed and all other options to be exhausted before heading to war. In the considered view of this newspaper, there has to be deterrent and punitive action in order for Iran to know that no sinister act will go unpunished; that action, in our opinion, should be a calculated surgical strike.”

The Saudi brothers Hisham Hafiz  Mohammad Hafiz founded Arab News in Jeddah in 1975.

Benjamin Weinthal is a European correspondent at The Jerusalem Post and a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 


Gulf States Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran Human Rights Iran Sanctions Iran-backed Terrorism Military and Political Power Sanctions and Illicit Finance Syria U.S. Defense Policy and Strategy