Rouhani warns UAE, Saudi Arabia

TEHRAN, Apr. 24 (MNA) – Criticizing the UAE and Saudi Arabia's move against Iran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said these two countries owe their existence to Iran’s wise decision in face of Saddam’s expansionist ambitions.

He made the remarks today in a cabinet meeting held in Tehran.

Touching upon US efforts to drop Iran’s oil exports, Rouhani said that the Iranian oil sales cannot be dropped to zero.

Then addressing the Saudi and Emirati officials, he said, “Are you responding to our good deeds with bad ones? … you have forgotten that you owe your existence to Iran’s wise decision in face of Saddam’s expansionist ambitions.”

When Saddam wanted to invade Kuwait, he kept sending messages to Iran asking for Tehran’s help or silence. He had said that Iran and Iraq would have some 800 common borders in the Persian Gulf and this shows that Saddam was after attacking Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and Oman as well, Rouhani noted, adding, however, “Iran was the first country to clearly condemn Saddam’s Kuwait invasion.”

"Are you aware of the consequences of this statement [on readiness to increase oil output] and do you know that this means an outright hostility towards the Iranian people? Do you not know that Trump’s tenure will end, and we are going to still be here together as neighbors for many years? It's better to think of a permanent friendship in the region”.

Negotiations can become feasible by lifting pressures and showing mutual respect, he said adding that some think that the United States is ready for talks and Iran rejects offers, but this is not the case.

“We should first make US regret [its anti-Iranian measures] and hence we have no way other than resisting.”

“Without a doubt, accepting the demands of a bully who lies about being after negotiation will never lead anywhere and we will never negotiate with a bully; accepting such a negotiation means being humiliated."

The White House announced on Monday that it will not renew sanctions waivers for countries which import Iranian crude oil. The waivers had been in place since November when the administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran after Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have said that they would increase their oil output to make up for Iran’s share.

MAH/4599036

News Code 144467

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