Riyadh-Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir asserted on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia tried to build good relations with Tehran, but the Iranian regime would not abandon its aggressive policies and intervention in the region’s internal affairs, which started with the launch of Khomeini’s revolution in 1979.
Commenting on the latest statements delivered by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Saudi Arabia, Al-Jubeir told Asharq Al-Awsat during a joint press conference held with his French counterpart Jean-March Ayrault that “Saudi Arabia has not bombed Iranian embassies or assassinated its diplomats, because such behaviors are not part of our ethics.”
The Saudi minister lashed out at Iran’s role in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, saying the Iranian attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of the Arab states by smuggling weapons, ammunition and planting terrorist cells, including in Saudi Arabia, are contrary to international norms and laws.
Jubeir added: “At the end, Iran is an Islamic and neighboring country. It is better for us and for them to have peaceful coexistence. The Kingdom tried to establish relations with Iran, but, regrettably, Iran continues its aggressive policies towards Saudi Arabia since the Khomeini revolution.”
Speaking at the headquarters of his ministry in Riyadh, Jubeir praised the deep-rooted ties binding France and Saudi Arabia and cited the identical viewpoints between the two countries on a number of issues, including the crises in Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, Lebanon, and Libya and the Iranian meddling in the affairs of countries of the region.
Jubeir also praised the role France is playing in the peace process in the Middle East.
For his part, the French foreign minister said Saudi Arabia was playing a big role in confronting radicalism and religious extremist ideologies.
Ayrault added that a comprehensive political solution is necessary to defeat ISIS in Iraq.
The French foreign minister spoke about a strong joint cooperation between the intelligence apparatus of both countries in the field of confronting terrorism.
Commenting on the current Syrian negotiations between the opposition and the regime and the Saudi stance from the talks as well as the presence of Saudi-Turkish coordination in this regard, Jubeir said: “The Kingdom supports any effort leading to a ceasefire and to facilitate entry of humanitarian aid in Syria. The coordination between the Kingdom and Turkey is very solid and existing. We support any effort to get Syria rid of the current tragedy.”
In answering Asharq Al-Awsat’s question concerning the accusations raised by some French candidates against Saudi Arabia for supporting terrorism, Ayrault asserted France was confident that the Kingdom remains a responsible and stable country in an unstable region, which explains the strategic partnership between France and Saudi Arabia.