2007 News Story

Interior Minister discusses Lebanon, Iran, Iraq in press conference

Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz addressed a wide range of issues in a press conference in Riyadh last night.

Prince Nayef said that there is no confirmed information about the presence of Saudis among the Fatah Al-Islam in Lebanon. “Unfortunately there may be some Saudis among them,” he said, and expressed the hope that Lebanese authorities would extradite any Saudis to the Kingdom.

Turning to Iraq, he stated that recent developments will definitely impact the entire region. “Unfortunately, Iraq has become a den for terrorists,” Prince Nayef noted. He said that problems are now spilling over from Iraq to other countries, including Saudi Arabia, and that the Kingdom is taking precautionary measures. He also denied that Iraq had extradited wanted militants to Saudi Arabia.

Regarding terrorism, Prince Nayef said that individuals who were collecting donations in Jeddah with the goal of financing terrorism have been arrested, and that investigations in the matter are currently underway.

Commenting on Iranian threats to strike neighboring countries if they are used to attack Tehran, Prince Nayef said that Iran’s neighbors would not be a source of harm to the Islamic Republic. “I think that the Iranian brethren are aware of the fact that harming Iiran’s neighbors will not serve its interests,” he noted.

Prince Nayef called on Iran to devote more attention to Iraq and urged all parties to work towards keeping Iraq an Arab and Muslim country.

He also remarked that Saudi Arabia has obtained information that some wanted persons are currently in Iran. Riyadh has asked Tehran to extradite those individuals as per a Saudi-Iranian security agreement, he said, adding that one of the wanted individuals is linked to last year’s attack on the Abqaiq oil facility.

Prince Nayef also said that negotiations are underway to return the remaining Saudi detainees currently being held at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.