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Saudi FM Responds to Iranian FM: Iran Can’t Whitewash Its Terror Record | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks at the International Institute of Strategic Studies conference “Manama-Dialogue 2015 at Manama, Bahrain October 31, 2015. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

London – Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir described to Iranian FM’s comments in the New York Times as “ironic at best and little more than insincere propaganda.”

In an article he wrote for The Wall Street Journal, Jubeir said that Iran can’t whitewash its record of terror. He cited John Adams’ famous quote: “Facts are stubborn things”, which was repeatedly used by Ronald Reagan.

“The fact is that Iran is the leading state-sponsor of terrorism, with government officials directly responsible for numerous terrorist attacks since 1979,” the FM said and gave examples of previous attacks which Iranian officials were involved in; such as the suicide bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the Marine barracks at Beirut International Airport; the bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996; attacks against more than a dozen embassies in Iran, including those of Britain, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia; and the assassination of diplomats around the world.

In his response to Iran’s attempt to be the victim, Jubeir said that Tehran cannot talk about fighting extremism while its leaders, Quds Force and Revolutionary Guards continue to fund, train, arm and facilitate acts of terrorism.

FM Jubeir added that if Iran wanted to demonstrate sincerity in its war on terrorism, it could have begun by handing over al Qaeda leaders who have enjoyed sanctuary in Iran.

He added that Iran should hand over Osama bin Laden’s son, Saad, and al-Qaeda’s chief of operations, Saif al-Adel, along with numerous other operatives guilty of attacks against Saudi Arabia.

He confirmed that Adel placed a call from Iran in May 2003 giving orders for the Riyadh bombings that claimed more than 30 lives, including eight Americans, “yet he still benefits from Iranian protection.”

Jubeir believes that if Iran was serious about its counter-terrorism, it could stop funding terrorist organizations, like Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s secretary-general recently boasted that his organization gets all of its funding from Iran.

Jubeir pointed out that the region and the world were at peace with Iran until Khomeini came into power with his revolution and tried to export the revolution to many countries, including Sudan, Nigeria, Syria, Lebanon and others.

In addition, and according to the Saudi FM, Iran could stop producing and distributing improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, which have killed or injured thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“And Iran could halt supplying weapons to terrorists and sectarian militias in the region who seek to replace legitimate governments with Iranian puppets,” the FM wrote.

Regarding the Syrian war, Jubeir said that Iran’s hands are stained with the blood of more than 500,000 people slaughtered by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, supported by Iranian troops.

Jubeir even said that if it weren’t for the efforts of the Iranian leaders, who publicly admitted it, Assad would have fallen from power.

The minister said that since signing the nuclear agreement, “Iranian leaders have taken to pointing fingers at others to assign blame for the regional problems that they helped create.”

Concerning the rule of Saudi Arabia in war on terrorism, the minister said that the kingdom is the leader in this war.

“My country brought the world together for an international conference in 2005 to align nations in the fight against terrorism. The kingdom contributed more than $100 million to create a global center for counterterrorism at the United Nations and established a 40-member Islamic Military Coalition to combat terrorism and extremism,” he stated.

Saudi Arabia is a member of the U.S.-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIS and is part of the coalition’s continuing military operations.

The FM stated that the kingdom has foiled several attacks aimed at the U.S., and its leaders have been a target of suicide terror attacks. “The kingdom’s record is clear, and attested to by our allies and the international community. Iran’s record is one of death and destruction, as the situation in Syria and parts of Iraq clearly attests. Words will not change that; concrete action will,” he added.

The foreign minister confirmed that Saudi Arabia’s position towards Iran remains the same, given that the kingdom welcomes better relations with Tehran based on the principles of good neighborliness and noninterference in the affairs of others.

He concluded his article saying that Iran has to abandon its subversive and hostile activities and stop its support for terrorism. “Thus far, Iran’s record has not been encouraging.”