FM spox:

Trump’s Saudi trip contradicts claim on fighting terror

News ID: 3991506 -
TEHRAN, May 29 (MNA) – Iran’s FM spokesman said Mon. that US President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia, a country which shelters and trains terrorists, nullifies his anti-Iranian remarks and claim on combating terrorism.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghasemi made the remark in his weekly press conference on Monday, adding “how can he possibly call Iran a source of terrorism when the country has just held a spectacular, democratic election, and acquit Saudi Arabia from this definition when the very courts in the US have attested to Saudi regime’s complicity in a number of terrorist attacks?”

Ghasemi was referring to Trump’s recent trip to Riyadh as his first stop overseas as president, during which he signed an arms deals with the Kingdom worth nearly $110bn. During a speech at a meeting of more than 50 Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh, Trump called on all nations to work towards isolating Iran. He further accused Tehran of stoking the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

Ghasemi went on to add, “the stance of certain countries against Iran is nothing new and unacceptable, and Trump’s visit to a country which is the generator of violence and terror in the region has rendered his anti-Iranian remarks null and void.”

The Iranian diplomat then referred to the Arab and Muslim leaders' summit hosted by Riyadh, adding “we monitored the summit very closely. In the contacts made before and after the summit by some Arab and Muslim countries, they told us they had not been informed of the summit’s communiqué and that they do not approve of its provisions.”

“Riyadh’s communiqué was unilaterally presented by the host, and as I’ve said before, the policies of major powers in the region have never benefited peace and friendship in the Middle East,” he added. 

To a question regarding the Astana agreement on creating de-escalation zones in Syria and whether Iran plans to send forces there to stabilize ceasefire in these zones, Ghasemi said “if necessary conditions are provided, perhaps it will be appropriate that forces from the three guarantor states (Russia, Iran, Turkey) be dispatched to monitor the de-escalation zones. In this case, Iran is ready to take the necessary measure to strengthen the ceasefire and preserve the status que in the de-escalation zones.”

About President Rouhani’s vow to remove the remaining anti-Iranian sanctions and whether this objective is possible to be achieved, Ghasemi said “it is possible. Our macro outlook at the world is respecting all countries, forming better ties and creating a more suitable situation based on our diplomacy power. I believe we can achieve this with appropriate planning and reliance on the power of people’s presence on the social and political scene.”

Ghasemi further rejected claims by certain Turkish news agencies about the presence of a number of PKK guerrillas in northwest Iran. 

About the recent developments in Bahrain and Iran’s stance on the siege over Sheikh Issa Qassim’s residence and crackdown of protestors by Al Khalifa’s security forces, he said “our relations with neighboring countries are based on non-intervention in their domestic affairs. What happened in Bahrain is tragic and against human rights, and we condemn it strongly. Our advice to the Bahraini government is self-restraint, respect for opinions of others, calmness, and avoidance of creating disturbances for its own citizens.”

Ghasemi then criticized the recent arms deal between Saudi Arabia and US, adding “Trump clearly said that he has sold billions worth of arms to create jobs for American youth, which basically means millions of people have to be killed in the region so that some Americans may get jobs.”

To a question about the possibility of a meeting between Iranian and American foreign ministers, he said “no decision has been made for planning the meeting so far, but anything can happen overnight when diplomacy is concerned.”

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