Iran censures Saudi foreign minister for ‘baseless’ remarks
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has censured Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir for his “ludicrous, baseless and repetitious” allegations against the Islamic Republic.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi also said on Friday the Saudi official is straining to distract international attention from the endless scandals of his country, which is “the founding father” of such terror groups as al-Qaeda and Daesh.
It is understandable that the Saudi foreign minister has had difficult days in the wake of the release of the secret 9/11 report, and more difficult days are still ahead of him, the Iranian official added.
Qassemi added that the world, particularly those nations that fell victim to terrorism in the years after September 11, 2001, would certainly realize the significance of the information the report reveals about the Arab kingdom’s support for terrorism.
The senior Iranian diplomat also said that “Jubeir makes ridiculous statements about Iran whenever he is frustrated,” and advised him to think twice about “the repercussions of his statements.”
Last week, the US government released 28 pages of a congressional report on the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which hinted at the Saudi government’s involvement in the attacks.
“While in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may be connected to the Saudi Government,” reads part of the report released on July 15.
The report also showed information indicating that “Saudi Government officials in the United States may have other ties to al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”
The 9/11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in the US and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage. Of the 19 terrorists, who hijacked four airliners, 15 were Saudis.
The Saudi foreign minister made the anti-Iran allegations during his speech about terrorism at the Egmont Research Center in Brussels earlier this week, claiming that Iran supports terrorism.
Under the new Saudi rulers, Riyadh has adopted an aggressive policy toward Iran and its allies, which are helping Iraq and Syria fight menacing Takfiri militancy.
Takfirism, which is the trademark of many terrorist groups operating in the region, is largely influenced by Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia and freely preached by Saudi clerics.
The Arab kingdom, which does not tolerate dissent, has a dismal record for human rights abuses. Shia Muslims are a regular target of crackdown and discrimination, and women’s rights in the kingdom are among the most restricted in the world.
Several international rights groups, including Amnesty International, lashed out at Saudi Arabia for its “surging” and “arbitrary” use of the death penalty and routinely putting people to death for their views.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia has long opposed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces are involved in fighting foreign-backed militants, including the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Riyadh has several times sought to get Washington’s green light to deploy ground forces to Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh but is yet to receive such permission from Washington.
Iran rejects Bahrain’s accusations
Separately, Qassemi also rejected Bahrain’s repetitive and unfounded allegations against the Islamic Republic, saying, “Once again, we advise the Bahraini authorities to find solutions for their growing problems instead of engaging in a blame game and attributing their own problems to others.”
Qassemi’s remarks came after Bahrain’s Interior Ministry claimed in a statement that it had dismantled an Iranian-linked cell plotting on its territory.
On July 13, Iran also categorically rejected a claim by Manama that a bombing in Bahrain last month was linked to the Islamic Republic. Qassemi, at the time, dismissed Bahrain’s allegation as baseless and part of an outdated approach pursued by the kingdom.
The Manama regime has, on numerous occasions, accused the Islamic Republic of interfering in its affairs. Iran has strongly rejected the allegation as part of a blame game policy pursued by Manama.
Since February 14, 2011, thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis, calling on the Al Khalifah family to relinquish power.
The Al Khalifah regime is engaged in a harsh crackdown on dissent and widespread discrimination against the country’s Shia majority. Scores of people have been killed and hundreds of others injured or arrested in the tiny Persian Gulf state.
Last month, Bahrain revoked the citizenship of the country’s prominent Shia cleric, Shiekh Isa Qassim, which prompted huge criticism at domestic and international levels.
The decision came less than a week after the Bahraini Justice Ministry suspended all activities of al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, the main opposition group in the country.
Wefaq’s Secretary General Sheikh Ali Salman has been in prison since December 2014.