New York, February 29, 2016: In a statement issued to the media on February 26, 2016, the Ministry of Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said that it has imposed sanctions on three individuals and four organizations over their ties with the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The names of those sanctioned are Fadi Hussein Serhan; Adel Mohammed Sheri; Ali Hussein Zeaiter; Vatech SARL; Le-Hua Electronics Field Co. Limited; Aero Skyone Co. Limited; and Labico SAL Offshore.
The Ministry of Interior affirmed that Saudi Arabia will continue to label those linked to Hezbollah as terrorists and sanction the individuals or groups according to the Kingdom’s Terrorism Crimes and Financing Laws and Regulations.
The statement further said that “The Saudi Law of Terrorism Crimes and Financing, along with Royal Decree No. A/44, effectively freezes any assets of individuals tied to designate terror organizations and prohibits any Saudi citizen or resident within the Kingdom from engaging in any transactions with designated organizations.”
It is important to state here that the Hezbollah is backed by Iran which shares a hostile relationship with the present Saudi Arabian leadership. The trouble which was brewing for quite some time after the demise of several Shiite pilgrims in a stampede that claimed more 2000 lives in September 2015.
But what added fuel to the fire was Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric, Nimr al-Nimr on January 2, 2016, after which the angry protestors in Iran attacked the Saudi embassy and put it on fire.
Post this incident, Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran, while Somalia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Qatar, and Sudan did the same and the UAE toeing the line downgraded its relations with Iran.
Then later Iran also accused a Saudi-led coalition of hitting its embassy in Yemen in the guise of an air strike.
In short, these events mean that the Saudi Arabia and Iran relationship has taken a downward turn for a very long time.
The acrimonious relationship is threatening the region with both the countries to trying to win over international powers on their side.
In January, this year, the verbal clashes between the two nations drew the attention of all world players including the usually reclusive China who advised both the countries to stay on course peace.
In an answer to a question Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that “The Chinese side stays committed to promoting peace and stability in the Middle East. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming is now in Saudi Arabia for a visit and he will then travel to Iran. He will have an in-depth exchange of views with both sides on the situation in the region. In Beijing, China has also reached out to relevant countries. We hope that the situation in the Middle East will ease up.”