Iran knew about Saudi Arabia’s plans to assassinate senior Iranian officials, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tells London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed.
“Tehran had credible information on this,” Zarif said in an interview, which will be published in full on Tuesday.
His comments came after a Sunday report by The New York Times, revealing a March 2017 meeting in Riyadh to assassinate Iranian officials, namely Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani.
Top Saudi officials discussed a “$2 billion plan” in 2017 to disrupt Iran economy and assassinate Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani, The New York Times reports
The meeting brought together businessmen that also “pitched a $2 billion plan to use private intelligence operatives to sabotage the Iranian economy,” read the Times report released.
As the meeting came at a time that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was consolidating his power in the kingdom, the report concluded that planning for assassinations, like that of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, started “since the beginning of Prince Mohammed’s ascent.”
Zarif further exemplified other atrocities by the Saudi government, including support for terrorism, attacking Yemen as well as blockadingQatar and kidnapping Lebanese Prime minister Saad Hariri.
“All the world has opened its eyes to what Riyadh is doing such as blockading Qatar, bombing Yemen, detaining the prime minister of Lebanon and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” Zarif said.
This is while the US has emerged as a passionate supporter of the monarchy ever since President Donald Trump appeared in office.
Trump has also withdrawn Washington from the internationally backed nuclear deal with Tehran and re-imposed illegal sanctions on Tehran.
The Trump administration announced the sanctions on November 5 to target Iran’s banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off its oil sales and crucial exports.