By staff and agency

Time for Saudis to produce prosperity rather than terrorists: Zarif

December 8, 2017 - 20:30

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that it’s time for Saudi Arabia to start producing “prosperity” rather than “terrorist organizations and dictators”.

“We’re not the ones who supported Saddam Hussein, we’re not the ones who supported the Taliban... we’re not the ones who supported ISIS (Islamic State, IS) or Nusra... we’re not the ones who are funding extremism throughout the globe,” he told RT in an interview published on Thursday.

“I think the sooner our Saudi neighbors realize that the snake that they produce, all of the snakes that they have produced in the past 40 years – be it Saddam Hussein, be it the Taliban, be it ISIS – have ended up turning against them,” Zarif said. 

“Now it’s time for them to start producing flowers, producing development, producing prosperity rather than producing terrorist organizations and dictators.”

Pointing to Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen, the chief diplomat said the Saudi-led coalition has been “basically destroying” the country and killing civilians.

“Now it’s a common international fact that Saudis have not refrained from even killing babies and elderly in their indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas in Yemen for the past 30 months,” he said.

He added, “We said from the very beginning that Yemen requires a political settlement, not a military settlement. We’re not bombing Yemen, they [Saudi Arabia] are.”

Commenting on decertification of the 2015 nuclear deal by U.S. President Donald Trump on October 13, Zarif said that if the U.S. pulls out of the deal, it will show the world that it is not a reliable party with which to negotiate.

“This is an international agreement. If they [U.S.] decide to live by their international commitment, it is in their own interest. If they decide to violate their international agreement, first of all they will show to the world that they are not reliable, that nobody can deal or negotiate or reach an agreement with any U.S. president, because the next president may come and basically violate that deal...

“That is not a good signal that they would be sending to the international community, but if they decide to send that signal, then Iran has its options and options are not limited, and I don't think those options will be very pleasant for the United States.”


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