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Saudi Arabia spreading radicalism, terrorism in Middle East: Pundit

20 January 2016 14:07



Press TV has conducted an interview with Naseer al-Omari, a political commentator from New York, to discuss a recent remark by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir in which he accused Iran of doing “nefarious activities” in the Middle East.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: When Saudi Arabia says that Iran will use its extra money for nefarious activities, what does it mean?

Al-Omari: Well, they mean for example supporting the Assad regime .They mean supporting Hezbollah. They mean supporting the Houthis. The problem is he (Adel al-Jubeir) and his regime are sitting in judgment of other governments and other regimes and other countries when they themselves are engaged in spreading terrorism and radicalism in the region. So, it is amazing that al-Jubeir would find it easy to say that Iran is likely to spread nefarious activities when all they do is [to] spread nefarious activities. ISIS (Daesh) is actually the product of Saudi Arabia. The conflict in Yemen is the product of Saudi Arabia. They propped up the previous regime and now they are fighting the same regime and the same thing in Iraq. So, it is amazing that they sit in judgment of others when they themselves are guilty of worse crimes than the Iranians.

Press TV: Is Saudi Arabia in a position to call for, for example, more stringent restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and inspection of it and even the resumption of sanctions considering Iran has never expressed any hostility towards Saudi Arabia?

Al-Omari: This is what is driving the Iranians crazy. These whole sanctions against Iran were actually supported and lobbied for in the United States and in the West by the Saudi royal family and by the Israelis. This is a country of hundreds of millions of people who have been placed under sanctions and now they are trying to get out of these sanctions and the Saudis are fighting like crazy to keep Iran under these sanctions. Then they wonder why Iran would take offense to what they are doing and saying. There is really a need for the Saudi regime to start to understand that the Iranians like everybody else in the region are trying to have their economy developed and serve their own people. They do not see it that way. They see it in terms of sectarianism, in terms of hatred and revenge and that is very very unfortunate for the region.

Press TV: Do you think that Saudi Arabia is isolating itself within diplomatic circles specifically when we see the West at least making headways in negotiations with Iran in opening new chapters on the diplomatic level?

Al-Omari: Yes. And now we look at the result of their diplomacy for many many years, decades of trying to put the Iranians under these sanctions, decades of spreading radicalism in the region, decades of oppressing the Shias within Saudi Arabia and in the [Persian] Gulf in the name of fending off Iranians, you look at the end result of all this and you have an economy that is sliding as a result of the slide in the oil prices. You have a war that is being lost in Yemen, a war that is being lost in Saudi Arabia and an internal situation where three million Shias within Saudi Arabia do not view their regime positively any longer after the murder of Sheikh al-Nimr. So, this is a regime that has failed externally. It has failed internally and what you are looking at right now is the hour of reckoning in the eyes of Saudis themselves.

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