Rouhani: We do not want distance from Arab world

December 2, 2017 - 19:43

TEHRAN – In an indirect reference to Saudi Arabia, President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said Iran is not in rivalry with its neighbors and does not seek to “distance” itself from countries in the Middle East region.

“If some regional countries have distanced from us is their own fault. We did not want this distance, we do not want distance from the Arab world,” he said while addressing a gathering of people in Zabol, Sistan and Baluchistan province.

Iran is interested in having “friendly relations” with all countries in the region, he added.

Saudi Arabia, under its new king and prince, has rebuffed all overtures by Tehran to deescalate tensions. 

Iran and Saudi Arabia has been supporting opposite sides in Syria. Iran has also been criticizing Saudi suppression of pro-democracy movement in Bahrain and Riyadh’s war on Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has also been unhappy with Iran’s nuclear deal with great powers, following the Zionist regime’s policy in this regard. 

“If princes in a country have clashes or the country has been bombarding its neighbor for three years and has also suffered defeats after years of helping Daesh is not our fault. We seek friendship with all the regional countries. Today, our relations with Afghanistan, Pakistan and Oman are better than any time,” Rouhani explained.

Elsewhere, Rouhani said that it is an honor that the Iranian people have maintained their unity.

“The Iranian people have maintained unity when the region was involved in division among religious and ethnic groups. Terrorists reached all the regional countries except Iran which was due to our people’s unity, faith and moderate Islam,” he said.

He went on to say that Islam has nothing to do with violence.

“The U.S. and Israel hatched an evil plot for the region and Daesh was not supposed to be annihilated in a few years. They hatched plot against the whole Middle East region and sought to spread terrorism from Iraq and Syria to Central Asia, Iran and the world of Islam,” he added.

The “vigilant” people of the region foiled all the plots, he said.


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