‘King Salman Pins Blame on Iran to Cover Up Riyadh Dark Record’

Iran’s permanent representative to the UN has dismissed Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s recent accusations against Tehran as a “blame game” aimed at diverting attentions away from Riyadh’s dark record of supporting terrorism. “Saudi Arabia desperately seeks to press charges against others in order to deflect attention from its long, dark record of extensively supporting terrorism, promoting extremist ideologies, sowing the seeds of discord and hatred, making destabilizing moves in the region and committing crimes during its aggression against Yemen in the past six years,” Majid Takht-Ravanchi noted. “It has completely been proven that Saudi Arabia, as a source of instability in the region, was the main financial supporter of Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi dictator, during Iraq’s eight-year aggression against Iran during which he committed countless crimes, including using chemical weapons against Iranian and Iraqi citizens and cities,” he added. “It has also become completely clear today that Saudi Wahhabi ideology was the main source of inspiration for the most dangerous terrorist groups such as the ISIS and al-Qaeda, and this country is seen as the key sponsor of these groups with its petrodollars,” he said. “Another example of Saudi Arabia’s destabilizing move in the region is its merciless killings during its aggression against Yemen over the past six years, which have had no results other than the killing of women and children and the destruction of houses, mosques and hospitals and the targeting of mourning and wedding ceremonies alike,” he noted. “These crimes against Yemeni children have been so heinous that the UN has put Saudi Arabia on top of the list of the world’s child-killing entities, though the name of the country was removed from the list later due to completely unprofessional reasons,” he said. The ambassador said Riyadh, in an inhumane move, keeps using famine as a war tactic and also prevents fuel, food and medicines from being sent to Yemeni people. Iran’s reaction came after the Saudi king, in his UN General Assembly speech, accused Iran of having struck Saudi oil facilities with missiles last year, a charge that Tehran vehemently denies. The monarch claimed Iran keeps targeting Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles and drones.He said international pressure against Iran should increase in order to prevent Tehran from attaining what he called “weapons of mass destruction.” Subscribe

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Al Saud Policies Turn Riyadh into ‘Humiliated Creature’ among Arabs: Iran

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has categorically rejected recent accusations levelled against the country by Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz at his UN General Assembly speech. In a statement on Thursday, Saeed Khatibzadeh dismissed the charges as unfounded and delusional. “As the base and birthplace of the ideologies of Takifiri terrorist groups and the main financial and logistical supporter of terrorism in the region, Saudi Arabia has, for years, been pursuing a blame-game policy and seeking to distort realities in order to escape the realities and not to be held accountable for its crimes,” said the spokesman. “The Saudi regime’s support for, and alignment with the US in its failed policy of ‘maximum pressure’ on Iran, its attempts to expand relations with the usurper Zionist regime of Israel, and paying billions of dollars of Saudi people’s money in ransom have not only failed to produce any results for Saudi Arabia, but also turned it into a humiliated creature among Arab countries,” he added. “Saudi Arabia has become delirious due to back-to-back defeats it has suffered both on the ground and on the political front in Yemen, and Riyadh wants to shirk responsibility for the war crimes it has committed against Yemeni women and children,” the spokesman noted. “In line with its responsible approach in the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran has, time and again, reminded the world of the Saudis’ miscalculations which have imposed a heavy price on the region, and keeps emphasizing its fundamental policy of boosting diplomatic and dialogue-oriented talks in the region and the promotion of relations with all neighbours,” he said. Subscribe

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Iran Calls for IAEA’s Impartial Verification of Saudi Nuclear Activities

Ali-Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has urges the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to guarantee the independent, impartial and professional nature of its work by verifying Saudi Arabia’s non-transparent nuclear activities. In an online address to the 64th General Conference of held in Vienna International Centre, Iran’s nuclear chief said the professional, impartial, and independent nature of the IAEA’s work would only be guaranteed if the Agency also considers unequivocally and impartially the available information on the nuclear activities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “If Saudi Arabia is seeking a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the Agency’s inspectors to verify its activities,” Salehi noted. He also lashed out at “the regime of Israel as a non-party to the NPT” for “continually and adamantly refusing to adhere to the IAEA safeguards”, and said the issue requires an “unbiased and professional approach by the Agency”. “This regime which is the main source of instability and insecurity in the region as well as a threat to international peace and security, should abandon its Weapons of Mass Destruction program and accede to the NPT without further delay and precondition. Needless to say that, clarifications on the nuclear activities and programs in this regard would certainly strengthen the credibility and professionalism of the Agency,” he added. He also said the only way to protect multilateralism in the world is to get united and put an end to the destructive behaviour of the current United States administration for the interests of all in the international community. What follows is the full text of his Monday statement: The world is enduring very serious and unique circumstances caused by the pandemic COVID-19, which has practically required many fora and organizations, including the Agency, to change their modus-operandi. In view of this, it is a distinct pleasure for me to virtually join the 64th session of the General Conference of the Agency. Amidst such a unique gloomy and painful environment wherein almost all Members of the Agency have suffered one way or another from the COVID-19, the international community could not witness the tattering of another thread of multilateralism, namely the architecture of the United Nations. It is no secret that international organizations are under political pressures from certain States, and the IAEA is of no exception. At this critical point in time for multilateralism, on the one hand, the raison d’être of the United Nations System has come under serious question; and on the other hand, the International Atomic Energy Agency is facing a very serious challenge of its kind since its inception. I am proud to say that the international community has successfully passed the first phase of this dire ordeal; the UN Security Council members in New York have rightly shown that they are not willing to compromise on the achievements simply because of the intimidation approach of one specific Member State. 13 out of 15 members of the Security Council not only unanimously rejected the US Resolution on the extension of the arms embargo against Iran but also didn’t recognize the US as a JCPOA participant to use specific mechanisms of the Deal to bring back Council’s already terminated sanctions. That is a real asset that should be preserved. Also, here in Vienna, the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran have shown utmost vigilance in relation to their long term interests with the view that it will be materialized only through mutual cooperation avoiding any outside influence. Thus, within the framework of the safeguards obligations of States under the Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA) and Additional Protocol (AP), the Agency should show its determination that it will not compromise its impartiality, independence, and professionalism for the sake of short-sighted comforts. It is worthy to know that Iran, alone, receives 22 percent of the total inspections of the IAEA at the global level, 432 inspections, and 33 complimentary accesses that have also been conducted in Iran in 2019. Furthermore, the Agency has also been able to carry out its verification activities in Iran even during the difficult situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. With this transparent and extensive cooperation, Iran and the Agency agreed to work in good faith to resolve three safeguards related questions with an understanding that based on the analysis of information available to the Agency, there will be no other questions or requests for access. Such approaches taken in New York and in Vienna are the real silver-linings in this gloomy political environment for multilateralism and deserve genuine compliments. On the current status of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), I would like to say that, while there is still a broad agreement among the international community that the JCPOA should be preserved as the real turning point in the history of multilateralism and as an important achievement of diplomacy, the JCPOA is caught in a quasi-stalemate situation due to the illegal withdrawal of the US from the deal. Therefore, preservation of the JCPOA is also a common responsibility of all members of the international community. In this context, the responsibility of the EU specifically E3 as members of the JCPOA is of utmost importance, i.e. they must implement their obligations fully and effectively. Thus, the Deal is preserved only when its provisions are implemented in a balanced manner by all parties involved. As a result, Iran has and had no other option rather adopt a step-by-step approach in implementing paragraphs 26 and 36 of the JCPOA to restore the lost balance to the Deal. Nuclear safety is among Iran’s highest priorities. In doing so, progress has been made in establishing an advanced Nuclear Safety Centre (NSC). While the responsibility for nuclear safety and security rests entirely with the Member States, Iran strongly believes that these areas need to be strengthened and enhanced through cooperation between States. New threats by malicious sides have been observed recently by way of cyber and other technological instruments. In this regard, let me point to the recent explosion at Shahid Ahmadi Roshan (Natanz) Nuclear Facility which was the result of sabotage as already declared. These malicious acts need to be condemned by the Agency and the Member States. Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and make necessary reactions to any threat as appropriate. The Islamic Republic of Iran persists in its path towards the peaceful application of nuclear science and technology in various fields including agriculture, health, and industry while continuing to generate electricity. Here, we reiterate that one of the main missions of the IAEA is “to foster the exchange of scientific and technical cooperation on the peaceful uses of atomic energy” and “to encourage the exchange and training of scientists and experts in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy” among member states. One last word of wisdom, the professional, impartial, and independent nature of the work of the Agency would only be guaranteed if the Agency also considers unequivocally and impartially the available information on the nuclear activities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. If Saudi Arabia is seeking for a peaceful nuclear program, it should act in a very transparent manner and allow the Agency’s inspectors to verify its activities. In this context, the regime of Israel as a non-party to the NPT which has continually and adamantly refused to adhere to the IAEA safeguards requires an unbiased and professional approach by the Agency. This regime which is the main source of instability and insecurity in the region as well as a threat to international peace and security, should abandon its Weapons of Mass Destruction program and accede to the NPT without further delay and precondition. Needless to say that, clarifications on the nuclear activities and programs in this regard would certainly strengthen the credibility and professionalism of the Agency. To conclude, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to continue its efforts and cooperation with others in the International Community to bring back multilateralism and diplomacy at the centre of international relations. To this end, there is no way but to get united and put an end to the destructive behaviour of the current United States administration for the interests of all of us in the international community. Subscribe

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‘Iran Must Praise Kuwait, Saudi for Rejecting Peace with Israel’

Kuwait's emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, right, shakes hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, left, during an official reception ceremony at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran, Iran, June 1, 2014. / Photo by AP An Iranian political analyst and author believes that Tehran must stop adopting a negative approach towards Arab states and hail Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for refusing to normalize their relations with Israel. Seyyed Hadi Borhani, a professor of Israel Studies at Tehran University, says the always-negative approach adopted by Iran so far has led Israel to introduce Tehran as an enemy of the Arabs. It’s time for Iran to praise Kuwait and even Saudi Arabia for not joining the trend of making peace with Israel, which is considered a joint enemy of the Muslim world. What follows are highlights of the remarks he made in a recent interview with Iranian news website Entekhab: Kuwait is a small country on the shores of the Persian Gulf, surrounded by several major countries in the region including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The total area of this Arab country is about 17,000 square kilometres, which is a small figure compared to the 1.5 and 2 million square kilometre areas of Iran and Saudi Arabia. The population of Kuwait, in proportion to its area, is not comparable to the population of its neighbouring countries. The power of the neighbours has always been a concern for this small country and has led Kuwait to make an alliance with great world powers and a security and military coalition with them. In fact, if there was no such alliance, Iraq (which occupied Kuwait in 1990) would have swallowed and digested it by now. Despite Kuwait’s small size and limited power and its vulnerability to pressure from major powers (especially the United States), it pursues an independent policy towards Palestine, which is admired by observers and analysts. The latest example of this courageous and principled policy is Kuwait’s stance on the UAE-Israel compromise. At this point, Kuwait opposed the policy of normalisation of ties with Israel and the passage of Israeli planes over the country, declaring that it would be the last Arab country to establish relations with Israel. The Kuwaiti parliament also criticised the UAE-Israel agreement. Kuwait’s position on the UAE agreement can be considered the best position adopted in the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and probably the most independent position in the entire Arab world. Kuwait’s position on this issue is even stronger and more serious than the positions of Iran’s allies and members of the Axis of Resistance, including Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The independent and free positions of Kuwait on the Palestinian issue are not limited to this and are rooted in the history of this country. The positions of the Kuwaiti government and its parliament have always been considered as free positions on this issue during the past years. Shortly after Donald Trump’s move to propose the deal of the century, Speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament, Marzouq al-Ghanim, said at a meeting of Arab Parliaments in Jordan that “In the name of the Arab nation, I declare that the deal of the century is born dead and its real place is the dustbin of history.” The anti-Israel stance of the Speaker of the Kuwaiti Parliament is not limited to this and has a long history. Marzouq al-Ghanim is perhaps the most active and serious speaker of the world parliament against Israel’s policies. The importance of this Kuwaiti policy becomes clear when we consider the country’s inability to provide security using its own limited domestic resources, as well as its dependence on US and Western powers for its security.  Also, consider the relatively bad behaviour of some Palestinian organisations towards Kuwait during the occupation of this country by Iraq. Unfortunately, these organisations committed a shameful mistake by supporting Saddam’s regime during the occupation. That came as, throughout its history Kuwait has always supported the Palestinian liberation and has hosted about half a million Palestinian refugees and displaced persons. Given these facts, Kuwait’s resistance to the US pressure, as well as its move to forgive Palestinian organisations and the continuation of an independent policy based on support for the Palestinian cause and people, can be considered a historic move. A fundamental question regarding Kuwait’s policy towards Palestine is why and how Kuwait is supporting their cause. What are the reasons or factors that differentiate Kuwaiti policies from the policies of other countries in the region, especially the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia? Answering this question requires independent research, but it seems that the influence of several factors in this case is clear. In addition to the experience, foresight and maturity of the Emir of Kuwait, who has always been praised by many leaders in the region, including Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, two important factors seem to be effective in this regard: First, Kuwait is superior to all Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries in terms of democracy and democratic governance. Kuwait’s parliament is a serious, old and deep-rooted assembly that can represent a significant part of the Kuwaiti people and their demands and opinions. The history of the Arab Middle East clearly shows that wherever the views of the people and their will have been the focus of attention, respect and influence, any interaction with Israel has been opposed. Kuwait’s emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah, left, meets with Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in June 2014. The second factor is probably the high level of education in Kuwait. Kuwait is a country that has been paying serious attention to the issue of education and culture for many years, and therefore its benefit from science, art, and expertise is commendable and undeniable. Therefore, one can expect the people of Kuwait and its elites to know the history of the region, the history of Palestine and the policies of Israel more deeply and accurately than other nations in the region do. For this reason, Kuwait has nurtured numerous writers and elites who have been prolific and influential in various fields, including the study of Palestine. In comparison, the UAE does not have these two factors. It does not have a serious democracy, nor does it benefit from Kuwait’s public knowledge of the Palestinian issue. Iran’s Stance on Arabs’ Normalisation of Ties with Israel After the ill-fated move of the United Arab Emirate in establishing relations with Israel, The Islamic Republic of Iran adopted a decisive and calculated policy to put pressure on the UAE and condemn it for making such a decision. This action by Iran is necessary, but may be insufficient. Iran has a long history of condemning such acts and putting pressure on Arab countries. Almost all of Iran’s interaction with the subject has been a negative one. The positive dimension of this policy does not seem to resonate much in Iranian policies of dealing with Arab countries. This has made Iran’s official policy to seem like an anti-Arab one. It is as if Iran is looking for an excuse to denounce the Arab countries and their positions. This has helped Iran’s regional enemies or rivals to abuse the situation and portray Iran’s regional policy as an anti-Arab one. Israel is trying hard to convince the Arab countries that Iran is the enemy of the Arab states and unfortunately (to some extent) it has succeeded in doing this. Iran’s positive interaction with positive and constructive positions of Arab countries, such as Kuwait’ policy regarding Palestine, can neutralise these efforts and put Iran’s regional policy in a reasonable and balanced direction. This policy could encourage other Arab countries to follow the Kuwaiti-Qatari model of relations with Iran and take a stand against Israel. At present, there seems to be some kind of inattention to such a policy, and the Islamic Republic’s regional policy is pursued more through pressure and coercion. For example, in the wake of the UAE-Israel compromise, Saudi Arabia has shown considerable resistance to the US and Israeli pressure to join Abu Dhabi and the peace agreement. Perhaps this policy should have been met with limited encouragement or a specific reward. Contrary to this expectation, the attacks of the allied forces of Iran (the Ansarullah of Yemen) against the Saudi positions increased during this period and a heavy attack was carried out against the Abha airport in Saudi Arabia. Due to Riyadh’s resistance against the US pressures, Iran-backed forces could wait until the Arab League summit. This patience, along with sending the necessary messages, could have encouraged Saudi Arabia to resist more (against US pressure) and play a positive role in the Arab League summit. Had such a move taken place, the possibility of taking a tougher stance against US pressure and taking a softer stance against Iran at the summit would have increased. This problem (tendency to deal negatively with Arab countries) in Iran, of course, is not limited to the government and official bodies. It has been seen many times that as soon as a mistake is made by an Arab country, it is severely attacked by the public and media. Arab embassies in Tehran have been attacked, flags set on fire, or rallies have been held against Arab rulers. However, a rally in praise of a right action or an admirable stance of an Arab country has never been held in Tehran. Hoping for such a day, the author of this text offers a wreath on the occasion of Kuwait’s independent and courageous stance on the Palestinian issue. Subscribe

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