Saudi newspaper calls for US to launch ‘surgical strikes’ on Iran

A state-aligned Saudi newspaper on Thursday called for the US to launch “surgical” strikes on Iran, which Riyadh is blaming for a drone attack by Yemeni rebels.

In an editorial published in English, the Arab News argued that after incidents this week against Saudi energy targets, including a key oil pipeline that was knocked out, the next logical step “should be surgical strikes.”

The editorial said American airstrikes in Syria, when the Assad regime was suspected of using chemical weapons against civilians, “set a precedent.”

“Riyadh has constantly warned world leaders of the dangers that Iran poses, not only to Saudi Arabia and the region, but also to the entire world,” the piece said.

“The recent attacks on oil tankers and oil pipelines were aimed at subverting the world economy by hitting directly at the lifeline of today’s world of commerce. Tehran should not get away with any more intimidation, or be allowed to threaten global stability,” it continued.

The editorial noted that in 2008, the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz called on the US to “cut off the head of the snake,” referring to Iran, and that about 10 years later, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the “new Hitler of the Middle East.”

“We are in 2019 and Iran continues to wreak havoc in the region, both directly and through its well armed proxies,” the editorial said, adding that it’s “clear that (US) sanctions are not sending the right message” and that “they must be hit hard,” referring to the Mullahs, without elaborating on what specific targets should be hit.

“We call for a decisive, punitive reaction to what happened so that Iran knows that every single move they make will have consequences,” the editorial said.

“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.”

Tensions have flared after the US dispatched warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged threat from Iran.

Four oil tankers were targeted in sabotage attacks Sunday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, and drones hit a Saudi oil pipeline Tuesday in an attack claimed by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

The crisis is rooted in President Trump’s decision last year to withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers, and impose massive sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi deputy defense minister, tweeted that the drone attack on two Saudi pumping stations “proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region.”

With Post Wires

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