Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari slammed Saudi Arabia as the “main culprit” involved in the spread of terrorism, implicitly hitting back at a U.S. Department of State report calling Iran the world’s “leading state sponsor of terrorism.”
“Saudi Arabia has as its main agenda been using terrorism as an instrument to materialize its political goals for years now,” Ansari said Monday at a press conference in Tehran, according to state-linked Fars News Agency.
“A major cause of the spread of Takfiri and terrorist streams in the region and the world and the threat they pose to regional and international security is Saudi Arabia’s continued and protracted policy of logistical, political, financial, spiritual and ideological support for the terrorist steams,” he added.
Back in May, Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqan also argued Saudi Arabia was actively involved in spreading terror in the Middle East at the behest of Israel and the United States.
“Some countries led by Saudi Arabia and its corrupt system are directing terrorist currents in the region to meet the demands of the US and Israel,”Dehqan said.
In an opinion piece published Monday, Iran directly addressed the State Department report on annual global terrorism that referred to Iran as the prime state sponsor of terrorism. Iran said the State Department offered no evidence to support its ranking and suggested the ranking may have come about because “the State Department wants to appease Israel and Arab allies,” who are not at all pleased with the Iranian nuclear deal signed in 2015.
Another possibility, according to the opinion piece, is that the report was released for domestic political purposes, given the upcoming U.S. president election.
But whatever the reason, Iran said despite cooperation with the U.S. on the nuclear deal, that cooperation will not extend to U.S. designs on Syria, or on any other issues regarding Iraq or the Palestinian “resistance,” among other pressing problems in the Middle East. Iran, of course, has been key in supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad against rebel groups seeking to take out the existing regime. Both the Pentagon and CIA have actively funneled weapons and training to these rebel groups, though the CIA’s plan is more directly aimed at pitting rebels against Assad, while the Pentagon has hoped to persuade rebels to hit Assad, but that hope has been largely dashed against the rocks.
“This is not exactly what the Obama cabal had in mind when they signed the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015,” the opinion piece noted.
The State Department’s report said that in 2015, Iran offered support to Hezbollah and other terror groups in Palestine, as well as groups in Iraq.
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