VIDEO: Mattis jokes with Jubeir: Good to see you alive… Iran tried to kill you
There was a light moment shared at the beginning of intense talks on Thursday when US Secretary of Defense James Mattis joked with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, reminding him of his failed assassination attempt in 2011 when he was ambassador in Washington.
“Hello... always good to see you alive... The Iranians tried to murder you,” Mattis said, as he greeted Jubeir and other members of the Saudi delegation led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi Arabia’s defense minister, met with James Mattis at the Pentagon to discuss the challenge related to Iran’s destabilizing regional activities.
Iranian assassination plots
The Saudi foreign minister survived assassination attempt as part of an Iranian plot in 2011 when he was Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington.
The criminal complaint revealed in the Federal Court in New York identified the names of the two men involved in the conspiracy: Manssor Arbabsiar, was arrested and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment and Gholam Shakuri an officer in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who is currently believed to be in Iran, and is wanted required by the American judiciary.
Iran is said to have been involved in several assassination attempts against Saudi diplomats during 1989-1990 including the assassination of four Saudi diplomats in Thailand: Abdullah al-Maliki, Abdullah al-Basri, Fahd al-Bahli and Ahmad al-Saif.
In 2011, the Iranian regime was also found reportedly involved in the assassination of Saudi diplomat Hassan al-Qahtani in the Pakistani city of Karachi.
In 2016, there was a failed attempt, under Iranian guidance, to assassinate the Secretary of State for Arab Gulf Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thamer al-Asbahan, when he was then ambassador to Iraq at the hands of Iraqi sectarian militias.