Iran Slams US, Saudi Arabia for Destabilizing Middle East, Provoking Arms Race
Tehran rejects statements by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the alleged destabilizing role of Iran in the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Monday.
Late last week, Pompeo said during his visit to Saudi Arabia said that the United States was deeply concerned about Iran’s “destabilizing and malign activities,” accusing Tehran of supporting terrorists, arming the Houthis in Yemen and conducting cyber attacks.
“What the US secretary of state has said about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s role and presence in some regional countries is just a rehash of baseless claims. The Islamic Republic of Iran’s advisory role in the two neighbouring countries comes at the request of their legitimate governments and is in line with fighting terrorism in the region, and this support will continue as long as the two governments need such help to combat terror,” Qassemi said in a statement published on the ministry’s website.
The spokesman said that a partnership between Washington and Riyadh is bringing instability and war to the region, and also provokes arms races and extremism.
“As long as this unholy expansionist partnership exists, the regional nations will barely savour the taste of security and tranquility along with human and economic development,” Qassemi said.
The diplomat also said that Pompeo’s claims about Iran’s role in Yemen were aimed at deflecting the attention of the international community from Saudi aggression against Yemen.
Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah. Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request. Millions of Yemenis remain in need of immediate humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.