Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has called on Saudi Arabia to initiate producing prosperity rather than terrorists and dictators as he lambasted Riyadh and its allies for “indiscriminate bombardment” of Yemen.
In an interview with Russia’s RT broadcaster aired on Thursday, Zarif touched on Saudi Arabia’s history of supporting many extremist groups.
“I think the sooner our Saudi neighbors realize that the snake that they produce, all of the snakes that they have produced in the past 40 years – be it [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam Hussein, be it the Taliban, be it ISIS (Daesh) – have ended up turning against them,” Zarif said.
“Now it’s time for them to start producing flowers, producing development, producing prosperity rather than producing terrorist organizations and dictators,” he added.
Saudi Arabia is widely viewed as the homeland of radical Wahhabism, the same ideology influencing Takfiri outfits such as Daesh, which have been wreaking havoc in the Middle East and beyond for years.
In the interview, Zarif also said the Saudi-led military coalition, which has been waging a deadly war on Yemen since March 2015, is “basically destroying” the impoverished country.
“Now it’s a common international fact that Saudis have not refrained from even killing babies and elderly in their indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas in Yemen for the past 30 months,” he said.
The Iranian foreign minister also stressed that Yemen requires “a political settlement, not a military settlement.”
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen in an attempt to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, but the kingdom has achieved neither of its goals.
The Saudi war, which has been accompanied by a land, naval, and aerial blockade of Yemen, has so far killed over 12,000 people and caused one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes in recent times.
Saudi Arabia has intensified its air raids on Yemen after the recent killing of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. His death came after he broke ranks with the Houthis in favor of Saudi Arabia.
US not reliable
Zarif also lashed out at the administration of US president Donald Trump for “resuming the animosity, the hostility” towards Iran. He said US efforts to undermine the 2015 nuclear deal proves that Washington is not a reliable negotiating partner.
In October, Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the accord and warned that he might ultimately “terminate” it, even though international inspectors confirmed that Tehran was complying with its obligations.
Zarif said, “This is an international agreement. If they (the US) decide to live by their international commitment, it is in their own interest.”
“If they decide to violate their international agreement, first of all they will show to the world that they are not reliable, that nobody can deal or negotiate or reach an agreement with any US president, because the next president may come and basically violate that deal,” he said.
“That is not a good signal that they would be sending to the international community, but if they decide to send that signal, then Iran has its options and options are not limited, and I don’t think those options will be very pleasant for the United States,” he added.