Saudi Arabia promises harsh penalty over sexual assault of two Iranian teens
Saud al-Faisal said the country's judiciary would invest the case. (AFP)
The Saudi foreign minister says the two Saudi officers behind the sexual abuse of two teenage Iranian pilgrims at Jeddah airport will receive the maximum penalty.
During a Monday meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Riyadh Hossein Sadeqi, Saud al-Faisal said the country’s judiciary would investigate the case in the quickest time possible, adding that two sex offenders will face a severe punishment.
He said Saudi Arabia attaches special significance to its relations with the Islamic Republic, adding that Riyadh seeks to open a new chapter in bilateral ties with Tehran.
The Iranian ambassador, for his part, said the Jeddah airport incident has hurt the Iranian public’s feelings, calling on the Saudi government to take a serious and decisive measure against the perpetrators of the sexual harassment.
While performing body search on passengers at the King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi officers reportedly took two Iranian teenagers, aged 14 and 15, away, citing suspicion. The officers, who had sounded off the alarm at the gate, subjected the teenagers to indecent acts.
Following the incident, Iran summoned the Saudi chargé d’affaires and submitted a note of complaint to the Saudi government.
Saudi Arabia says it has arrested the two officers who sexually harassed the teenagers.
Sadeqi also called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen and the dispatch of humanitarian aid to the violence-wracked country.
Saudi Arabia’s air campaign against the Houthi movement started on March 26, without a United Nations mandate, in a bid to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
[This article has been edited from the source material.]
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