Riyadh can’t hide terror history by spreading anti-Iran lies: Foreign Ministry
Tehran has sharply dismissed the Saudi crown prince’s latest allegation that Iran shelters terrorist leaders, saying the regime in Riyadh cannot hide its history of creating and promoting terrorism by “spreading lies” about the Islamic Republic.
Bahram Qassemi, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, made the remarks on Tuesday shortly after Mohammed bin Salman told the CBS News show “60 Minutes” that Iran is a destabilizing force in the region, and that is hosting and supporting al-Qaeda ringleaders.
Salman made the comments in the run-up to his talks with US officials in Washington.
Qassemi called the claim about the presence of such characters in Iran “a big lie.”
“By such instances of disseminating lies, he (bin Salman) cannot hide the role played by the Saudi government and rulers in creating the most dangerous terrorist groups in contemporary history and in notable terrorist incidents, such as [the attacks of] the September 11 [,2001]” in New York, he added.
The US used the 9/11 attacks as a pretext to launch a so-called war on terror in Asia, as part of which it invaded Afghanistan with its NATO allies later that year.
Qassemi further said in the early years of Washington’s invasion, some al-Qaeda leaders fled Afghan soil and illegally entered the Islamic Republic’s borders.
They were, however, arrested and handed over to their respective countries, including some members of al-Qaeda ringleader Osama bin Laden’s family, Qassemi noted.
Given their Saudi nationalities, they were treated as per Riyadh’s instruction, he said.
Qassemi said bin Salman, during his visit to the US, is brazenly using all means “to pave the way for his ascension to the throne.”
Apparently, he said, pouring billions of dollars of the Saudi nation’s wealth into the American arms industry has not sufficed to serve the crown prince’s purpose, prompting him now to try to blot out Riyadh’s already-proven background in supporting terrorism and extremism.
The Iranian official further said bin Salman was revealed in the recent interview to be a “clumsy liar” and “misconceiver” who does not even know about his own country’s history and culture.
Qassemi said everyone knows well about how al-Qaeda was establishment by Saudi intelligence institutions and the kingdom’s systematic contacts with the terrorists, he said.
Declassified US documents on the 9/11 attacks have revealed many current Saudi rulers have played a flagrant role in the terror incidents, he added.