Iran assails Saudi Arabia as ‘source of instability’ in region

September 25, 2020 - 16:47

TEHRAN — The Islamic Republic of Iran has assailed Saudi Arabia as a source of instability in the region, rejecting Riyadh’s “unfounded allegations” against Tehran.

“Saudi Arabia has been a source of instability in the region for decades,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement, IRNA reported on Friday.

“It is a well-established fact that Saudi Arabia was the main financial supporter of the Iraqi dictator, Saddam, in his eight-year aggression against the Islamic Republic of Iran in which he committed numerous crimes, including the use of chemical weapons against Iranian and Iraqi cities and citizens,” he added.

On Wednesday, King Salman of Saudi Arabia used his UN General Assembly speech to attack Iran for what he called “the forces of extremism and chaos” in West Asia.

“The Kingdom’s hands were extended to Iran in peace with a positive and open attitude over the past decades, but to no avail,” the Saudi king claimed in his speech, accusing the Islamic Republic of targeting Saudi oil facilities in missile strikes.

“Our experience with the Iranian regime has taught us that partial solutions and appeasement did not stop its threats to international peace and security,” Salman said.

A day earlier at the UN General Assembly, President Hassan Rouhani had said Iran as a peace-loving force for good in the region and the world.

He described Iran as the axis of peace and stability, the harbinger of dialog and tolerance and the champion of the fight against occupation and extremism.

“Such a nation does not deserve sanctions,” President Rouhani said, referring to the U.S. government’s “maximum pressure” policy against Iran, which includes sanctions and threats of war. “The response to peace is not war,” Rouhani added.

 ‘Saudi Arabia is the main financier of terrorists’ 

In his statement, Takht-Ravanchi said through a series of fabrication and disinformation, Saudi Arabia is desperately attempting to distract attentions from its dark, long record harboring, financing, inducing and arming the most dangerous terrorist networks.

He said Riyadh has disseminated hate speech and extremist ideology, sowed the seeds of sectarian division, pursued destabilizing, disruptive and subversive policies and practices in the region, and committed crimes for over six years in Yemen.

“With respect to the role of Saudi Arabia in supporting terrorist groups, it has now become quite evident that this country’s Wahhabi ideology is the main inspiring source of the most dangerous terrorist groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda and through its petrodollars, Saudi Arabia has served as the main financier of such terrorist groups,” the ambassador maintained.

King Salman had also taken the UNGA podium to express sympathy for the people of Lebanon over a port explosion last month, to claim that the blast was “the result of the hegemony of Hezbollah” in Lebanon, and to express support for the Trump administration’s role in normalizing ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia’s allies, Bahrain and the UAE.

However, he failed to address other issues, such as Saudi Arabia’s assassination of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey two years ago, or Saudi Arabia’s military aggression against Yemen, which has turned the country into the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

“Another living example of the destructive policies of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the region is its almost six years of aggression, death and destruction in Yemen, in which thousands of civilians, including women and children, have been killed, and homes, mosques, hospitals, schools, marketplaces, diplomatic missions and even wedding and funeral ceremonies have been targeted,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

“Such crimes have been so brutal and horrible that the United Nations placed this country at the top of the list of global child-killers,” he added.

He also reiterated President Rouhani’s call for restoration of peace and security in the region, saying that relying on foreign forces whose main interests are to sell more deadly weapons to West Asia has not produced security for the region.

“Instead, the regional countries should resolve their differences through dialogue and rely on their own capabilities to promote peace and security in the region. In this context, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is called upon to accept such a call for dialogue among all littoral States of the Persian Gulf,” the envoy noted.

‘Riyadh has become delirious due to defeats in Yemen’

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also categorically rejected Salma’s charges as unfounded.

“As the base and birthplace of the ideologies of Takifiri terrorist groups and the main financial and logistical supporter of terrorism in the region, Saudi Arabia has, for years, been pursuing a blame-game policy and seeking to distort realities in order to escape the realities and not to be held accountable for its crimes,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement on Thursday.

“The Saudi regime’s support for, and alignment with the U.S. in its failed policy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran, its attempts to expand relations with the usurper Zionist regime of Israel, and paying billions of dollars of Saudi people’s money in ransom have not only failed to produce any results for Saudi Arabia, but also turned it into a humiliated creature among Arab countries,” he said.

The spokesman said the Islamic Republic has time and again reminded the world of the Saudis’ miscalculations which have imposed a heavy price on the region.

Khatibzadeh said Riyadh has become “delirious” due to back-to-back defeats it has suffered both on the ground and on the political front in Yemen, adding that Riyadh wants to shirk responsibility for the war crimes it has committed against Yemeni women and children.

The war on Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its allies was launched in March 2015. The goal of the war was to return to power the Riyadh-backed former regime of Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi and defeat the Houthi Ansarullah movement that took control after the resignation of the previous government.

In an exclusive interview with London-based and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network on Tuesday evening, the spokesman for the Houthi movement denounced Saudi Arabia and the UAE over submission to Israel.

“As long as the Saudi and UAE regimes fight on behalf of the Zionist regime and spend millions of dollars in its stead, the latter will not engage in any war in the region,” Mohammed Abdul-Salam said.

He added that the U.S., along Saudi Arabia and the UAE, decided to launch the military campaign against Yemen after they realized that the country was seeking to assert its independence.


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