Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warn Saudis over Gulf war games

Straight of HormuzSaudi Arabia began live-fire drills on October 4, with manoeuvers also taking place in the sea of Oman and the narrow Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards warned regional rival Saudi Arabia to stay away from Iranian waters during its military exercises in the Gulf.

“The naval forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps believe this military exercise is a clear instance of creating tensions and undermining the stable security of the Persian Gulf,” it said in a statement published by Iranian newspapers on Thursday.

“None of the naval vessels participating in this drill are permitted to trespass into Iranian waters and under no circumstances should they approach Iranian territorial waters,” it added.

“Any such trespassing will not be considered a harmless aberration.”

saudi-arabia-vs-iran-flag-on-mapSaudi Arabia began live-fire drills in the Gulf on Tuesday, with manoeuvers also taking place in the Sea of Oman and the narrow Strait of Hormuz that links the two — the primary route for oil exports from the region.

The Guards’ naval forces “will take proportionate and immediate action against any kind of movement, attempt or action to disrupt the peace and security of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman,” the statement added.

Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran — which lie on opposite sides of the Gulf — severed diplomatic relations earlier this year and back opposing sides in the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

In the past, Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz during periods of tension with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies.

In recent months, Washington has repeatedly accused Tehran of dangerous encounters with US naval forces in and around the strategic waterway.


With Syria’s Civil War Spilling Across the Border, Several Persian Gulf States Are Telling Their Citizens To Leave Lebanon ‘Immediately’

The embassies of several Gulf states in Beirut, Lebanon, are telling their citizens to leave the country immediately as Syria’s civil war spills over the border.

The UAE received information about its nationals being targeted “because of the difficult and sensitive circumstances in Lebanon.”

Saudi Arabia cited “reported threats to kidnap Saudi citizens” in Lebanon, according to BBC News.

In May Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait (along with the UAE) issued similar travel warnings, urging their citizens to avoid traveling to Lebanon – which lies along the western border of Syria – and that those in the country leave immediately.

Lebanon is deeply divided between supporters and opponents of President Bashar Assad’s regime. The country, which was devastated by its own 15-year civil war that Syria was deeply involved in, has witnessed clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian groups over the past months, mostly in the northern city of Tripoli.

Assad’s minority Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shiite Islam that is being actively supported by Shia-dominated Iran and its proxy Hezbollah in Lebanon while predominantly Sunni nations such as Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have strongly supported the rebels.