Riyadh’s anti-Iran moves intended to cover up failures: Rouhani

November 29, 2017 - 20:11

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia presents Iran as an enemy because it wants to “cover up its failures” in the region.

“Saudi Arabia was unsuccessful in Qatar, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and wants to cover up its defeats,” Rouhani said in an interview live on national television.

He said since he assumed office in 2013, Iran has improved its relations with the European Union, Russia and regional countries including Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Qatar. 

There are one or two countries such as Saudi Arabia with which Iran does not have good relations, the president said, emphasizing that it’s indeed Riyadh that is seeking tension with Tehran.

He also pointed to the situation inside Saudi Arabia, saying the kingdom’s internal disputes is another fundamental problem it is trying to solve by stoking tensions with Tehran.

Relations between Tehran and Riyadh have severed in recent years over a number of issues. The two countries support opposing sides in the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

In an interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Saudis and their Arab allies were slowly building a coalition to stand up to Iran.

He also made an analogy between Iran and Germany during World War II, saying “We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work.”

Riyadh has been pursuing an open warmongering policy toward Iran ever since bin Salman surged into power by getting rid of his possible rivals in the kingdom.

However, the Rouhani administration’s style is not a confrontational one, especially towards regional countries.

The president said his country will seek to resolve regional problems through “dialogue instead of confrontation”.

He also said Iran needs both diplomacy and military power to counter possible threats. Without these two wings, he said, “flying will be impossible.”


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