Saudi Press

Saudi Arabia and the world
Saturday, Apr 20, 2024

US officials visit Riyadh to discuss Iran, regional security

US officials visit Riyadh to discuss Iran, regional security

America’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs Daniel Benaim expressed concern over the impact of Iran’s supply of weapons to Russia and reaffirmed America’s commitment to advancing regional security at a press roundtable hosted in the US Embassy’s Quincy House in Riyadh on Thursday.
Benaim was part of a high-level US delegation that visited Riyadh from Feb. 13 to 16 and included Special Envoy for Iran Rob Malley; acting coordinator for counterterrorism and Acting US Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Christopher Landberg; and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Dana Stroul.

“Iran’s continuing supply of drones and other armaments to Russia for its aggression and brutal attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine will affect the security and safety of this region, and I think we should all be concerned by what Iran is getting in return for helping Russia’s brutal assault on civilians in Ukraine,” Benaim said.

“We can expect that to include different kinds of support to Iran’s defense industry and Iran’s capabilities to further destabilize this region, including through its proxies. It’s a very concerning prospect and something we all need to take very seriously,” he added.

The deputy assistant secretary said that he had come to Riyadh to have a series of conversations and make sure that “our partners in the region and, frankly, our own people in this region, who are also under threat from Iran and its proxies in multiple countries, have a strong and robust security cooperation.”

The delegation visited the Kingdom to participate in the US-Gulf Cooperation Council Working Group, highlighting shared priorities including Iran, counterterrorism, integrated air and missile defense, and maritime security.

Benaim explained that there were multiple senior US military officials delivering cutting-edge briefings on maritime awareness threats at sea as well as the latest thinking on how to best deter the threats of missiles and drones.

Discussing counterterrorism efforts against Iran, Benaim said: “There is a great deal of innovation happening by our adversaries and we need to be innovative and nimble as well in how we respond together, and that conversation was happening this week.

“We have certainly seen Iran provide a range of weapons and training and advanced equipment, such as drones and other support, to Houthi militants in Yemen,” he added.

“The unlawful transfer of lethal aid from Iran is irresponsible and dangerous and leads to violence and instability across the Middle East.”

Benaim also reaffirmed that the US is committed to working closely with Gulf states to help combat Iranian aggression.

“Alongside our partners, the United States will continue to deter and interdict this kind of lethal material entering the region, as was demonstrated by our recent actions, including the seizure of weapons and explosives and component parts on multiple occasions over the past few months,” he said.

Benaim explained that the challenges to regional and international security posed by Iran’s nuclear issues and Iran’s decision to walk away from negotiations were both discussed in depth.

“These two were really important and deep consultations that (resulted in) a clear picture of the path forward,” he said.

“The Iranians lost the opportunity for a swift return to the full implantation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in September when they turned their backs on a deal that was on the table and approved by all,” Benaim added. “JCPOA has not been on our agenda for months now. What remains very much alive is President (Joe) Biden’s absolute commitment to never allowing Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, as was reiterated and made clear in this week’s meetings.”

Benaim stressed that it is vital that the region is secure and that partnerships in defense and counterterrorism are strong.

“As we heard at the GCC, as well from member states, we believe — and our partners believe — that diplomacy is the best way to achieve that goal; diplomacy backed by strong security cooperation and partnership. But President Biden has been very clear that we have not removed any option from the table and that a military option remains as a last resort,” he said.

Benaim also spoke about future strategic partnerships between the Kingdom and the US in areas other than defense.

“This is an 80-year strategic relationship built up over generations with lots to discuss and lots to do,” Benaim said. “Our efforts together include ambitious plans to deploy clean energy and develop technologies that will play a clear role in the energy transition of the world.”

He added that building greater collaboration between energy experts in the two countries can enhance efforts to combat the climate crisis and contribute to the deployment of cleaner energy resources, not just in the US and Saudi Arabia, but around the world.

“There are lots of exciting projects underway between our two countries in fields like green hydrogen and electric vehicles, not to mention tourism, entertainment, and a whole range of other issues, where the Kingdom is changing and the US is eager to be a partner through our businesses … and bring about some of those economic transformations.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

Saudi Press
0:00
0:00
Close
Reports in Gaza: 5 dead from the impact of aid packages dropped by the USA
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
China Criticizes US for Vetoing UN Ceasefire Resolution in Gaza
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
The U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, instead proposing its own six-week ceasefire plan contingent upon the release of all hostages held by Hamas
Prince William Urges End to Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia ranks first in UN index for e-government services in MENA
Israel has gone ‘beyond self-defence’ in Gaza, says Labour’s Streeting
EU Calls for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza Conflict
Israel Records 20% Drop In GDP, War In Gaza Is The Reason
Saudi Arabia's FDI Inflows Grow with New International Standards
Venture Capitals Power Up Across MENA Region
Saudi Arabia Introduces Terms for 30-Year Income Tax Exemption for Multinational Companies
Saudi FM: Establishing Palestinian state is only pathway for Mideast stability
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Elon Musk's Starlink Gets License For Israel, Parts Of Gaza
Influencers Exploit X Platform for Profit Amidst Israel-Gaza Conflict
PM Modi Announces Opening Of New CBSE Office In Dubai
International Criminal Court's Chief "Deeply Concerned" By Rafah Bombing
January Funding for MENA Startups Totals $86.5 Million
Saudi Arabia accelerates digital economy growth through Nvidia partnership
Indian female military officers commend Saudi Arabia's progress and women's empowerment
Israel unveils tunnels underneath Gaza City headquarters of UN agency for Palestinian refugees
Israel deploys new military AI in Gaza war
Egypt threatens to suspend key peace treaty if Israel pushes into Gaza border town, officials say
Israel Utilizes AI Military Technology in Gaza Conflict
Saudi Arabia Warns Of A "Humanitarian Catastrophe" If Israel Moves On Rafah
China Warns Iran to Halt Houthi Attacks or Damage Trade Ties
US University To Shut Qatar Campus Due To "Heightened Mideast Instability"
Iran-backed hackers interrupt UAE TV streaming services with deepfake news
Facebook and Instagram Ban Iran's Supreme Leader
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
U.S. Secretary of State Blinken: The Israelis underwent dehumanization on 7.10, this does not give them the right to do this to others.
Defense Technology Showcase Held in Riyadh
Saudi Arabia’s non-oil exports rise 2.5% to $6bn in November 2023: GASTAT
UK Bans Misleading "Zero Emissions" Claims for Electric Cars
Gaza's Teen Inventor Sparks Light in Displacement
Netanyahu Rejects Ceasefire Proposal, Insists On Total Victory Over Hamas
Guterres appoints independent UNRWA review panel
Private Sector Employment Hits Record High with Over 11 Million Employees in January
Rolls-Royce Executive Encourages Saudi Women to Tap into Their Inner 'Superhero' for Success in Defense Industry
Saudi Arabia launches National Academy of Vehicles and Cars
Saudi Tourism Minister Reveals Plan for 250,000 New Hotel Rooms by 2030
SAR to more than double eastern network passenger capacity with new trains deal
Saudi Arabia Enhances National Defense with New Partnerships
Saudi Aramco Maintains Arab Light Crude Pricing to Asia for March
NEOM Establishes New York Office to Support Investors
Saudi Wealth Fund Draws in Over $25 Billion Worth of Investments in Three Years, Al-Rumayyan Reveals
ZATCA Cautions Against Scammer Schemes
INTRA Defense Technologies inaugurates drone factory in Riyadh
×