By Mehdi Sepahvand - Head of Political Desk

‘Iran concerned about Riyadh, open for normalization’

November 12, 2017 - 19:33

TEHRAN – A top advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader has said that Tehran is very concerned about Riyadh’s foreign policy, indicating also that the Islamic Republic is open to talks that do not come with preconditions.

Kamal Kharrazi made the remarks in a recent interview with the Austrian-based Wiener Zeitung.

Asked if he thought Riyadh will respond to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s proposed four-point plan on Yemen, i.e. ceasefire, humanitarian aid, intra-Yemeni dialogue and government involvement, Kharrazi said, “So far the Saudis have not accepted him. To implement such a plan, the Saudis must end the war. We are primarily concerned about the illogical approach of Riyadh. As we have seen from the beginning of the fighting in Yemen so far, the Saudi intervention did not bring any positive benefits to the Yemeni people. The latter should be able to decide on her own fate.”

“Iran, Saudi Arabia and others must join forces to find solutions in Yemen. But let me also say clearly that we would like the Saudis to improve their relations with Iran. We are open for this without preconditions with the only restriction that such a relationship must be done with respect and on equal terms,” he said.

“The problem is completely different. The Saudis are not deviating from their hostile policies and are trying to confront Iran with new accusations on a daily basis. As a recent example, I mention the Houthis’ rocket on Riyadh, where it is said Iran fired this missile. This claim is utterly unfounded in that even since the presence of the former USSR in Yemen, the Yemenis have a diverse rocket arsenal. And who owns rockets for years can also develop a rocket program. That has nothing to do with Iran.”

Americans have no handshake quality

In another part of the interview when asked about Iran’s view of its nuclear deal after U.S. President Donald Trump decertified it, Kharrazi said, “Our Leader supported the negotiators in the best possible way and gave them backing. But he has also warned them that no outside opinion is imposed on us. If it did not give its support, we would not be where we are today. The deal has shown that Iran is ready to talk. If there is a dialogue at eye level, then we are there. In addition, the deal has taught us that if Iran signs up, then you can count on us to deliver what we promise. At the same time, however, the deal has also brought to light something else: the Americans are not pact-capable and they have no handshake quality.”

“We have learned from this experience. You cannot bargain with America and you cannot trust them. The Americans trampled on the treaty and lost their credibility, and the Americans know that too,” he noted when asked if doors to negotiation with Washington are closed.


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