Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir on Monday, Nov. 6 accused Iran of an “act of war” in reference to the Iranian-backed Yemeni Houthi missile attack on Riyadh airport Saturday.
On Sunday, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei secretly ordered a significant reshuffle in the high commands of the Iranian army and navy. Brig. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Dadras was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, with orders to boost the intelligence and operational preparedness of the Army. He came from the post of commander of ground forces.
In a separate notice, Khamenei promoted Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi to commander of the Navy, replacing Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, who was elevated to Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army for operational coordination.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Sayari spent the last ten years developing the combat doctrine practiced by the Iranian Navy and Revolutionary Guards in the Gulf, which hinges on special forces, especially marines, for naval and ground warfare. He was responsible for the tactics and harassment that Iranian forces directed at US warships and warplanes operating in the Gulf.
Sayari hands these functions over to Rear Admiral Khanzadi, while himself joining the Army’s General Staff as head of operations of Iran’s armed forces.
Khamenei emphasized that all these appointments were approved by the chief of staff, Maj.-Gen Abdolrahim Mousavi.
This major reshuffle occurs at a time of high tension between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on the one hand, and Iran, on the other. This week it rose to eve-of-war pitch.
Saud Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir accused Iran of orchestrating an “act of war” and asserted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had the right to defend itself. He went on to say: “The Iranians can’t interfere in the affairs of countries in the region and expect to get a free pass. There is no doubt that missiles and suicide boats are coming from Iran to the Al Houthis.
“We want to avoid war [with Iran] at all costs,” he said, but Iran continues to violate “every international law and every international norm.” Iran is waging a war through its regional proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Al Houthis in Yemen, Jubair said, adding, “we must say enough is enough” to Iran.
The coming DEBKA Weekly out on Friday, Nov. 11, sheds light, with insights, on the mostly secret preparations underway in Iran, the Gulf Emirates and other parts of the region in the expectation of a flare-up of armed hostilities, that may infect other parts of the Middle East.
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