Saudi Arabia reassigns ambassador to Iraq after controversy over King Salman’s assassination

A royal decree issued early today from King Salman announced Thamer al-Sabhan would be a minister of state for the Gulf region.

By: AP | Riyadh | Published:October 16, 2016 2:41 pm

Saudi Arabia says it has reassigned its ambassador to Iraq, months after he claimed that Iranian-backed Shiite militias were plotting to assassinate
him. A royal decree issued early on Sunday from King Salman announced Thamer al-Sabhan would be a minister of state for the Gulf region.

The decree and a brief story on the state-run Saudi Press Agency did not elaborate on the reason for his reassignment. However, it comes after Iraq asked Saudi Arabia in August to replace al-Sabhan as it said the ambassador’s allegations were without evidence and harmed relations between the two countries.

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Iranian-backed Shiite militias have fought against the Islamic State group in Iraq, raising worries in the Sunni-ruled kingdom about Iranian influence there. Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in January.