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NYT Readers Respond to Zarif’s Article: ‘Iran Is Leading Sponsor of Terrorism’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif attends Human Rights Council at UN in Geneva.-Reuters

London- Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Javad Zarif is trying hard to set himself as the hero of the propaganda campaign launched recently by Tehran against Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, before heading to the Non-Aligned Summit in Venezuela, Zarif told reporters that he will call for the formation of a new coalition against Saudi Arabia, which will focus on some issues including Syria, Yemen and Bahrain.

Meanwhile, and to shift the attention from the scheduled protests against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to New York to attend meetings of the United Nations’ General Assembly, Zarif published an opinion piece in the New York Times newspaper titled: “Let Us Rid the World of Wahhabism.”

In his piece, Zarif denounced Riyadh for promulgating Wahhabism across the region and called for an abolition of that ideology.

He claimed that: “Over the past three decades, Riyadh has spent tens of billions of dollars exporting Wahhabism through thousands of mosques and madrasas across the world.”

The interesting part about his piece was that he did not provide any evidence to support his claims, to which no country reacted.

However, Zarif’s opinion piece was severely criticized on Twitter by readers of the New York Times and the political elite of those observing the conditions in the Middle East.

Several comments had one thing in common; that Zarif represents a regime which has been labeled by the U.S. Department of State and European Union countries as the biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world.

For his part, Iranian Political Analyst Nasser Zamani said that the Islamic Republic has come under more than 40 sanctions for supporting terrorist organizations in the Middle East and other countries.

The list of organizations that were described as terrorist and supported by Iran are the so-called Lebanese Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad for the Liberation of Palestine, Ansar al-Sharia organization in Yemen and Zakzaky’s group in Nigeria.

At the same time, Iran has been long accused of establishing relations with al-Qaeda and some Taliban factions in Afghanistan not to mention Hamas, which is a branch of Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine.

David Frum, one of the advisers of former U.S. President George W. Bush, tweeted: “This opted condemning extremism by the foreign minister of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism is … sassy.”

As for Max Boot, one of the most important strategic analysts, who writes opinion pieces in Los Angeles Times, he sarcastically tweeted: “The Islamic Republic of Iran denounces religious extremism. Pot, meet kettle.”