Stoking more crises in Middle East unwise: Iran FM
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned of the consequences of stoking more crises in the Middle East, saying such a bid will only bring about more grief and misery.
“A more experienced person might think doubling down on bad bets by stoking further crises would be unwise,” Zarif said on his official Twitter account on Friday.
He cited the foreign support for executed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein; Taliban militants; the slain al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi; and Daesh terrorists as instances of “doubling down on bad bets.”
The top Iranian diplomat said Lebanon is also the latest in a string of countries in the region to be facing such a bid after Qatar and Yemen.
Zarif’s latest remarks came amid an escalating war of words between Tehran and Riyadh in nearly three decades after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Tuesday alleged that Iran was involved in supplying weapons to the Yemen’s Ansarullah Houthi fighters, which he said “is a direct military aggression” by Iran against Saudi Arabia.
The Yemeni army on Sunday confirmed that it had targeted Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh with a long-range Borkan H2 ballistic missile.
Saudi Arabia has also confirmed the launch, saying, however, that its air defense intercepted the missile, bringing it down north of the airport.
In a statement on Sunday, the Saudi-led coalition, claimed the Houthis were under Iran’s “direct command.”
The Iranian foreign minister on Tuesday dismissed as “false and dangerous” claims by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and said the kingdom’s accusations were contrary to international law and the United Nations Charter.
This as Lebanese President Michel Aoun on Friday expressed his concerns over the situation of Saad Hariri, who is said to be held in Saudi Arabia after he announced his resignation as Lebanon Prime Minister in a live broadcast from the kingdom.
In a meeting with foreign diplomats, the Lebanese president calls for clarifications of the situation of Hariri, who is said to be held in Saudi Arabia.
According to the reports, the Lebanese leader also told Saudi Charge d’Affaires Walid al-Bukhari that Hariri must return home, describing the circumstances as unacceptable.
Hariri arrived in Riyadh on November 3 and announced his resignation as prime minister the next day, citing assassination fears and denouncing Iran and Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah for sowing strife in Arab states.
Both Hezbollah and Iran rejected Hariri’s allegations. The Lebanese army also said it had found no such plots against Hariri.
The Beirut government has not accepted the resignation, with the Justice Ministry saying he should first return, and that his resignation should be “voluntary” to be formally considered by President Aoun.
On Thursday, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh is “exploring options,” including severing ties with Beirut, to deal with Hezbollah.
In an interview with CNBC, Jubeir warned against the regional role of Hezbollah, which has been providing military assistance to the Syrian army in the fight against the Takfiri terror groups.