Rouhani urges Saudis to end hostilities, befriend Iran instead of US
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on Saudi Arabia to cease its hostile policies against Tehran, warning against the ramifications of putting trust in the US and Israel.
Speaking at his cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani reaffirmed Iran’s support for the development of regional countries, including Saudi Arabia and said, “There is no way other than brotherhood, friendship and helping each other.”
“You are mistaken if you think Iran is not your friend, but the US and Israel are. This mentality is a strategic mistake and miscalculation,” added the Iranian president.
“Our path in the region is to establish and promote stability; we want the geographic borders not to change, nations to decide for themselves, and bombardments and aggression against regional nations to be stopped,” he added.
The president further reminded the Saudi rulers of Iran’s might and influential role in the region, saying, “You are well aware of the power and status of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Those more powerful than you have failed to do anything against the Iranian nation.”
“The US and its lackeys mobilized all their equipment and power, but they could not do anything,” he added.
Rouhani pointed to the allegations about Iran’s interference in regional countries, adding that such claims come while the Islamic Republic has been fighting terrorism in Iraq and Syria upon the request of those countries.
The Iranian president pointed to the track record of the US and Israeli plots against regional countries, saying, “The hegemonic [states] plunder the oil and wealth of the region and, in return, they sell their a variety of weapons to fan the flames” of hostility.
Saudi war on Yemen
Rouhani lashed out at Saudi Arabia for waging a deadly war on its neighbor Yemen since March 2015.
“How should the Yemeni nation respond to bombardment on such a scale? They are told not to use their own weapons. Well, stop the bombing and see whether or not the Yemeni nation responds positively. You do not allow delivery of medicine, food and UN assistance to the Yemenis. Is what you are doing reasonable and Islamic?”
He also slammed Riyadh’s hostility towards Iraq and Syria through the proxy of terrorist groups and said, “Why are you hostile towards the people of Syria and Iraq? Why did you create Daesh [terrorist group] and unleashed it on the people in the region?”
Saudi interference in Lebanon
Rouhani pointed to the sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Riyadh on Saturday, calling it a result of the Saudi interference.
“Why are you interfering in Lebanon’s affairs and [in its] government? We cannot find an instance throughout history where a country meddling in the affairs of another country by apparently forcing the head of that country to resign. This is unprecedented in the history of the region,” he pointed out.
Hariri cited many reasons for his sudden resignation, including the security situation in Lebanon. He also said that he sensed a plot being hatched against his life. He accused Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement of meddling in Arab countries’ affairs, an allegation the two have repeatedly denied.
The surprise announcement has sparked a new political crisis at home in Lebanon, fueling speculations that the premier has been forced by the Riyadh regime to announce his resignation.