TEL AVIV – Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have made comments over the last day accusing both Iran and Lebanon of “acts of war” on Riyadh.
Saudi forces over the weekend intercepted a ballistic missile believed to have been fired towards Riyadh by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen. Reuters reported Prince Mohammed bin Salman as saying on a Tuesday call with UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson that the supply of rockets by Iran to militias in Yemen is an act of “direct military aggression” that “constituted an act of war against the Kingdom.”
In a separate instance, Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan told Saudi news station Al-Arabiya that by not controlling the Lebanese terror group and Iranian-proxy Hezbollah, Lebanon was effectively declaring war on Riyadh.
“We will treat the government of Lebanon as a government declaring a war because of Hezbollah militias,” Sabhan said.
According to the report, Sabhan said that Hezbollah’s ongoing involvement terrorist acts threatens the Kingdom, and added that Saudi Arabia will use all “political and other means to confront what he called the ‘Party of Satan.’”
“We expect the Lebanese government to act to deter Hezbollah,” Sabhan said.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN on Monday that both Iran and Hezbollah were responsible for launching Saturday’s missile.
“It was an Iranian missile, launched by Hezbollah, from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen,” Jubeir said.
He added that the Iranian-manufactured missile was smuggled into Yemen, where “operatives from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah” assembled it and fired it on Riyadh.
Jubeir also said the missile constituted “an act of war” and warned “we reserve the right to respond in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time.”
Iran categorically denied being behind the missile attack, calling the accusation “slanderous.”