JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - 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.
“After this incident many in the kingdom will expect the kingdom to take measures, the least of which will be to pull the Saudi ambassador from Iran,” said Abdullah Alshammari, a government official in Riyadh. “In the opinion of Saudi decision makers, this situation is not going to pass easily.”
Saudi Arabia mistrusts Shi‘ite power Iran, and together with the United States accuses Tehran of backing terrorism and pursuing nuclear arms.
“There were always problems with Iran and Saudi Arabia, what is new now is that America is involved... The fact that the Saudi ambassador was the target in the United States, I believe this will mean the kingdom and the United States will take a joint decision together,” Alshammari said. “An ambassador of the level of Adel Al-Jubeir, who was an adviser to the royal court, that is a great provocation for Saudi Arabia and therefore we expect that the kingdom will take steps in this matter.”
Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Writing by Reed Stevenson