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Saudi Ambassador to Iraq: We informed the FM of the Threats, No response | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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This undated file photo shows Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Iraq Thamer Al-Sabhan. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Riyadh and Baghdad – In his response to the statement of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saudi Ambassador to Iraqi Thamer al-Sabhan said that the embassy had informed the ministry several times of the death threats which the ministry dismissed.

Sabhan told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that all the threats and violations had been documented including the plot to assassinate him.

The ambassador added that “honest Iraqis” sent to the embassy information about the death threats. “All threats had been documented and presented at the Iraqi ministry. They are also documented on media outlets,” said the ambassador.

He added: “According to what we hear, politicians succumb to pressures to do things they don’t like.”

Earlier, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ahmad Jamal said in a statement that the ministry dismissed the assassination plot.

Jamal said that the ministry rejects such reports, adding that: “such claims were only meant to damage the relations between Baghdad and Riyadh. “

On the rejection, ambassador Sabhan said that it is the ministry’s own matter but the truth is that Iraqi Minister of Defense Khaled al-Obiedi offered to secure the transportation of the ambassador via helicopter. “When we requested transportation to Basra, the ministry apologized for not being able to provide it, and I respect that,” explained the ambassador.

But Iraqi PM Haidar al-Abadi was responsible for assigning personal protection for the ambassador during his transportation, according to the ambassador. When the ambassador and his delegation arrived at Baghdad Airport, there was no security.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasimi said that the allegations addressed to his country. He said Riyadh faces “serious internal and external problems,” which he said sometimes prompt the Saudi regime to act in an unwise and emotional way. He added that it is not a strange thing for Saudi Arabia to spread such claims.

Ambassador Sabhan said that Iranians know the truth and their terrorist-supporting and treachery methods are well known.

He went on to say that Sec. Gen. of Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas Forces Aws al-Khafaji described the assassination of the ambassador during one of his television interviews as “great honor.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee will hold a session on Wednesday to discuss the reports on plots devised by Tehran for Iraqi Shiite forces about the assassination of the ambassador, as stated by Abdul Bari Zibari.

Zibari added that no diplomatic man in Iraq will be put in danger and the committee will discuss this. He stressed that Iraq seeks to maintain good relations with all countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Asharq Al-Awsat solely printed security information that Iraqi Shiite militias are plotting to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to Iraq by targeting his armored car with RPJ-7 missiles.

Sabhan stressed that he is ready to serve the Saudi leadership and Islam.

He added: “Our blood is not more precious that the heros protecting our borders.”

Sabhan pointed out that Iraq was and will remain a united Arabic country without discrimination.