Saudi Intel Chief Pleads With UK to Attack Iran
Tape Shows MKO-Saudi Plot to Attack Tankers
A Saudi intelligence chief pleaded with British authorities to carry out limited strikes against Iranian military targets, just hours after Donald Trump allegedly aborted planned U.S. attacks against the Islamic Republic, a senior UK official has told Middle East Eye.
The intelligence chief was accompanied by Saudi diplomat Adel al-Jubeir on his trip to London, the source said.
Still, the Saudi lobbying efforts fell on deaf ears, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
“Our people were skeptical,” the source said, adding that the Saudi official was told a plain “no” in response to the request.
The Saudi official also provided additional intelligence allegedly linking Iran to a recent attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, but his British counterparts were “not impressed” with the new evidence.
The British government has already publicly backed the Saudi and American accusation that Tehran is behind the Gulf of Oman attacks.
“I condemn yesterday’s attacks on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. UK’s assessment concludes that responsibility for the attacks almost certainly lies with Iran,” UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt wrote on Twitter on 14 June.
“These latest attacks build on a pattern of destabilizing Iranian behavior and pose a serious danger to the region.”
According to the British source, the Saudi intelligence chief will head to Jerusalem Al-Quds at the weekend, where he will engage in similar lobbying efforts with Zionist officials and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, an anti-Iran hawk, who will be visiting Occupied Palestine.
On Thursday, Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his support for Washington against Iran.
Tensions started to rise sharply early in May, as Washington deployed military assets to the Persian Gulf.
Since then, the U.S. has blamed Tehran for a series of strikes in the region, including attacks on four ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on 12 May.
Riyadh has also pointed the finger at Iran for an increase in attacks by Yemeni fighters against Saudi Arabia. The kingdom has been locked in a four-year destructive war, which has caused an enormous humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia’s Jubeir has denied that Riyadh is trying to draw the U.S. into war with Iran. “That’s ridiculous,” he said in an interview with Sky News on Thursday, when asked about the claim.
“Saudi Arabia has made it very clear that we want to avoid war at all costs, so has the United States, so has the United Arab Emirates.”
But last month, a government-aligned Saudi newspaper called for “surgical strikes” against Iran.
“Our point of view is that they must be hit hard,” an Arab News editorial published on 16 May reads.
“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.”
Collusion With MKO
An unverified audio tape leaked from the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), a terrorist outfit banned in Iran, purportedly shows that the group colluded with Saudi Arabia in handling the aftermaths of explosions earlier this month on oil tankers near the Persian Gulf waters as the two sides sought to blame Iran for the sabotage activity.
The audio tape published on Iran Front Page on Saturday is a record of a short conversation between a senior MKO member and a sympathizer who are heard coordinating their positions on the June 13 explosions on two tankers in the Sea of Oman, which heightened already simmering tensions between Iran and the United States.
The English translation of the conversation, as provided by an online footage containing the tape, shows head of MKO’s cyber operations Shahram Fakhteh telling the sympathizer, identified as Daei-ul-Eslam, that Saudi Arabia was seeking a follow-up on the case from MKO ringleader Maryam Rajavi.
“In the past week we did our best to blame the (Iranian) regime for the blasts. Saudis have called Sister Maryam (Rajavi)’s office to follow up on the results, (to get) a conclusion of what has been done, and the possible consequences,” Fakhteh is heard saying in the tape.
Daei-ul-Eslam then replies by saying that blaming Iran for the explosions can have various types of consequences for Iran and can even lead to a military operation against the country.
Iran has vehemently denied any role in the attacks on the tankers while major international powers have dismissed a video provided by US alleging that Tehran was behind the explosions.
The MKO has been banned in Iran and around the world for its role in numerous terrorist activities targeting Iranian and foreign nationals.
Removing its decade-long ban on the MKO, the United States has used the group as a tool to pressure Iran over the past years.
Reports have also shown that the Saudi intelligence agency has provided the MKO with vast funding, especially since main elements of the group were purged from their old bastion in Iraq more than a decade ago.
The group launched a demonstration outside U.S. States Department in Washington on Friday calling for a military operation against Iran.