Middle EastSaudi Arabia

Saudi-preached Takfiri ideology main threat to Mideast: Iran FM



Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the extremist Takfiri dogma propagated by Saudi Arabia is is the main threat to the security and stability of regional countries.

“The main threat to the region is the Takfiri and extremist ideologies, whose intellectual and financial origin and resources emanate from Saudi Arabia,” Zarif said in a meeting with former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Tehran on Monday.

Zarif added that in his letter to foreign ministers of different countries, he had outlined Saudi Arabia’s measures over the past two years to spread Iranophobia.

He emphasized that Iran has so far out of prudence put up with all the negative Saudi measures, including the sexual abuse of two teenage Iranian pilgrims by Saudi officers at Jeddah airport in April and the deadly stampede in Mina in September.

“We consider Saudi Arabia’s approaches to create tensions as propaganda stunts here and there and regard them as an immature and passive conduct,” the Iranian minister pointed out.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been strained in recent days following the Saudi execution of top opposition cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, which was announced on January 2. Riyadh severed diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic on January 3 following attacks carried out by some people on its diplomatic premises in the Iranian cities of Mashhad and Tehran during protests against the execution.

Good prospects for ties with Iran: Schroeder

The former German chancellor said his country envisages good prospects for relations with Iran after the implementation of a nuclear agreement reached between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 group of countries, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in July 2015.

Schroeder added that Germany along with European countries hope that they will manage to benefit from Iran’s capacities to solve regional crises after the closure of Tehran’s nuclear dossier.

The JCPOA, reached between Iran and the P5+1 – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia plus Germany – in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14, 2015, puts limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the removal of all economic and financial nuclear-related sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Saudis must end support for Takfiris: Shamkhani

In a meeting with Schroeder earlier Monday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani called for regional and global fight against countries that are nurturing Daesh terrorists.

“Saudi Arabia must make a choice between supporting Takfiri groups and destabilizing the region [on the one hand] and pursuing the path of constructive interaction and genuine participation in establishing stability and security [on the other],” Shamkhani said.

He added that contrary to some American officials and lobbyists who see their interests in creating challenges and crises for others, Iran is keen to expand relations to help solve issues.

The SNSC secretary also highlighted the role of Iran, as a regional power, in the genuine and influential battle against extremism and terrorism.

The spread of insecurity, caused by Takfiri terrorists, to Europe exposes the inefficiency of so-called US coalition to counter terrorists and their supporters in the region, Shamkhani said.

He urged all countries to adopt constructive approaches and stop financial, arms and human support for terrorists.

The former German chancellor, for his part, condemned Riyadh’s execution of Sheikh Nimr and said his country opposes any move which will fuel sectarian strife.

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