News – 2011.10.12

Published: October 12, 2011

SUSRIS Daily News – Excerpts from International Media Reports
/Provided as a service from the Saudi-US Trade Group, Washington, DC/


US Ties Iran to Plot to Assassinate Saudi Diplomat: AP

Nedra Pickler | 10/11/11

“The Obama administration accused Iranian government agents Tuesday of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the United States and immediately used the thwarted plot to ratchet up sanctions and recruit international allies to try to further isolate Tehran.”  SAUDI ARABIA TO “TAKE MEASURES” AFTER IRAN PLOT: Alma Alsharif (Reuters) reports, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be expected to ‘take measures’ by its people after U.S. authorities broke up a plot by two men linked to the Iranian government to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the United States.”  FOR IRAN AND SAUDI ARABIA, SIMMERING FEUD IS ROOTED IN HISTORY:  “The two countries have been locked in a Cold War for decades, especially since the 1979 Iranian revolution established a theocracy in Tehran that has openly challenged the legitimacy of the royal House of Saud. The rivalry has been fueled by sectarian tensions — Iran has a predominantly Shiite Muslim population, while Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni — but also centers on their respective ambitions to exercise political and economic power throughout the Middle East,” write Craig Whitlock and Liz Sly (Washington Post).  IRAN’S LOGIC IN ASSASSINATING A SAUDI AMBASSADOR?: Steve Clemons (The Atlantic) writes, “Iran doesn’t feel isolated.  It feels as if it is in the ascendancy as the US stumbles through strategic contraction — leaving allies dumbfounded and vulnerable with more burdens on key states like Saudi Arabia to fend for themselves and alter their strategies.” SLIDESHOW: ADEL AL-JUBEIR: Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir is profiled in this Washington Post slideshow.


U.S. Aims to Punish Iran: TIME

The Obama administration plans to leverage charges that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States into a new global campaign to isolate the Islamic republic.

U.S., Saudi Arabia May Take Iran Plot To U.N.: Diplomat: REUTERS

The United States, which accused Iran of backing a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, is discussing with Saudi Arabia and other allies the possibility of taking up the matter with the United Nations Security Council, a Western diplomat said on Wednesday.

U.S. Issues World Travel Alert: REUTERS

The State Department late on Tuesday issued a worldwide travel alert for U.S. citizens, warning of the potential for anti-U.S. action after the United States accused Iran of backing a plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington.

‘Nothing Off the Table’ After Iran D.C. Terror Plot, Biden Says: ABC NEWS [Video]

Vice President Joe Biden said today that “nothing has been taken off the table” when it comes to the U.S. response to an alleged plot by Iran to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S. and unleash deadly terrorist bombings in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Aims To “Unite The World” Against Iran: CBS NEWS

The Obama administration plans to leverage charges that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States into a new global campaign to isolate the Islamic republic.

International Media Dig For An Explanation: CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

The day after the United States disclosed that it had foiled an Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US, foreign media seemed baffled by the fantastic circumstances of the plot, and reflected concern that the incident could spark another confrontation in the region.



If Iranian government operatives really did try to contract a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., as the Obama Administration alleges today, then they weren’t just being diabolical. They were being fairly stupid, Tim Padgett (TIME) writes.


The alleged plot to carry out an assassination on U.S. soil would represent, if proven, a significant escalation of a long-running covert struggle between Iran and the West that has included industrial sabotage, terrorist bombings and the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist, Joby Warrick (Washington Post) writes.  “It also would reflect a radical shift in tactics for a country that usually prefers to leave its dirty work to proxies.”


Evidence that Iran was behind a plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington is “overwhelming”, a former chief of Saudi intelligence services said on Wednesday. “The burden of proof and the amount of evidence in the case is overwhelming and clearly shows official Iranian responsibility for it,” Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal told an industry conference in London, Dawn news agency/Reuters writes.


The last thing Washington needs now is another war. But accusations by U.S. officials that Iran was plotting a series of assassinations — terrorist attacks — on U.S. soil show just how quickly and suddenly America could find itself facing the wrenching decision about whether to enter yet another armed conflict in the Middle East, Frida Ghitis (CNN) writes.


Saudi King Abdullah To Undergo New Back Operation: AFP


“Saudi King Abdullah will undergo new back surgery in Riyadh in the next few days, following two similar operations last year in the United States, the palace said in a statement on Tuesday. Exams performed after the 87-year-old king complained of “pain in the lower back” revealed a stretched ligament.”

Kingdom’s Imports Exceeded SR400 Billion Mark In 2010: ARAB NEWS


“The latest statistical figures supplied by the General Statistical Department showed that Saudi imports crossed the SR400 billion mark in 2010, registering a 12 percent increase compared to the previous year when imports were put at SR358 billion.”

OPEC Cuts Oil Demand Outlook: SAUDI GAZETTE


“The 12-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) slashed its estimate for oil demand this year and said it expected sales to stagnate next year, in a forecast Tuesday blaming global economic uncertainty for cutting into the world’s appetite for crude.”  SAUDI ARAMCO PLANS MAJOR OVERSEAS EXPANSION: P. K. Abdul Ghafour (Arab News) reports, “Saudi Aramco has announced plans to expand its petrochemical operations to Indonesia, Vietnam and other countries. ‘Our company is conducting intensive studies in this respect,’ said Fayez Al-Sharef, project director of the company.”

Saudi Arabian Mining Posts Quarterly Profit on Gold Prices: BLOOMBERG

Mourad Haroutunian | 10/11/11

“Saudi Arabian Mining Co., the state- run producer known as Ma’aden, posted a third-quarter profit because of higher gold prices and lower taxes.  Net income was 27.4 million riyals ($7.3 million) after a loss of 200,000 riyals a year earlier.”

Saudi Arabian Cement Hardens against Storm: THE NATIONAL

Hadeel al Sayegh | 10/12/11

“Saudi cement is emerging as an unlikely defensive sector amid tumbling regional and global stock markets.  Analysts at one Saudi investment bank said cement companies in the kingdom had not just protected their shareholders from the pain of the slump but had also yielded them a decent amount of capital appreciation.”

Zain Saudi Names Al-Omar as CEO After Al-Barrak Quits: BLOOMBERG

Mourad Haroutunian | 10/11/11

“Zain Saudi Arabia, a unit of Mobile Telecommunications Co. of Kuwait, appointed Khalid Al-Omar as chief executive officer after Saad al-Barrak resigned.  The board of directors accepted the resignation of al- Barrak as a board member, managing director and chief executive officer.”

Kingdom Fosters Production Of Solar Energy Products: SAUDI GAZETTE

Joe Avancena | 10/11/11

“The National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) is promoting solar energy value chain products to support solar power plants, which are envisioned to be established across the Kingdom-wide as a component of the country’s resolve to harness renewable energy to meet increasing electricity demand.”


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