DUBAI: Iran’s intelligence minister told its regional rival Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that there is no guarantee of Tehran continuing its “strategic patience,” according to semi-official Fars news agency.

“Until now, Iran has adopted strategic patience with firm rationality, but it cannot guarantee that it will not run out if hostilities continue,” Fars quoted Esmail Khatib as saying.

“If Iran decides to retaliate and punish, glass palaces will crumble and these countries will not experience stability anymore.” Iran has accused foreign enemies of fomenting unrest raging since the death in police custody of Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in September after her arrest for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code imposed on women.

The protests by Iranians from all walks of life have mushroomed into one of the biggest challenges to Iran’s clerical leaders since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Last month, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief Hossein Salami warned Saudi Arabia Riyadh to control its media outlets.

“I am warning the Saudi ruling family.... Watch your behaviour and control these media ... otherwise you will pay the price. This is our last warning because you are interfering in our state matters through these media. We told you, be careful,” Salami said, according to Iranian state media.

Last week Iran denied that it posed a threat to Saudi Arabia after the Wall Street Journal reported that Riyadh had shared intelligence with the United States warning of an imminent attack from Iran on targets in the kingdom.

Deadly strike hits pro-Iran militia

A strike on a pro-Iran militia convoy in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border killed at least 14 people overnight, a war monitor said Wednesday, without specifying who carried it out.

The attack hit a convoy of “fuel tankers and trucks loaded with weapons”, in the Albu Kamal area, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The US-led coalition fighting the remnants of the militant Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria said neither it nor any coalition countries carried out the raid.

A spokesman for the Israeli military said: “We do not comment on foreign press reports.” The Iraqi border official said the trucks were transporting Lebanon-bound fuel from Iran via Iraq and Syria.

He said the convoy consisted of 22 tanker trucks, 10 of which were hit after entering Syrian territory through the Al Qaim-Albu Kamal border crossing.

Four trucks were “completely burnt”, he added, but said there were “no victims”.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2022

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