Saudi Support for Terror Creating Regional Crisis

Saudi Support for Terror Creating Regional Crisis  Saudi Support for Terror Creating Regional Crisis

The Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized Saudi Arabia for backing terrorists, saying it has created big problems for the region and the world.

"We believe that Saudi Arabia has been using terrorism for years as a tool to reach its (covert) objectives. One main reason behind the spread of terrorism in the region and the world is that country's logistical, financial and ideological support for Takfiri groups."  

Hossein Jaberi Ansari made the statement in his weekly press briefing on Monday, IRNA reported.

A Takfiri is someone who accuses followers of some Islamic sects of apostasy and believes their murder is allowed.

The spokesman warned that although Riyadh believes such policies can help advance its interests, the long-term consequences of the move could be devastating for the authoritarian oil kingdom.

"Spread of terrorist groups poses a serious threat against Saudi Arabia and all countries which may back them," he warned, referring to the strong Saudi backing for militant groups fighting to topple the government in Damascus.  

"Tactical use of terrorism has long-term consequences and anyone who uses terrorists as a tool will be targeted by them."

  Not Mending Ties

Asked about any efforts to mend relations between Iran and the Persian Gulf Arab country that have been severed for months, Jaberi Ansari said the two countries are not in any talks to  settle differences.  

"No formal negotiations between the two countries are underway."

Iran has in the past called for talks with the Saudi rulers, but the kingdom has rejected the proposal.  

Although Tehran-Riyadh relations had not been warm in recent decades, ties worsened after the conflicts emerged in Syria and Bahrain in 2011, where the sides supported opposing sides.

But the real problems emerged after Salman bin Abdulaziz ascended to the throne in January 2015 and started a military campaign in Yemen and adopted a more aggressive policy against Iran.

Another issue which further undermined ties was the Mina stampede, where thousands of hajj pilgrims of different nationalities, including 469 Iranians, died in a crush during a ritual close to the holy city of Mecca.

Heightened tensions culminated in an announcement by Riyadh last January to break off ties with Tehran, using the attacks on its vacant diplomatic premises in Iran by protesters angered over the Saudi execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr as an excuse. This is while senior authorities in Tehran condemned the attacks and prosecuted the perpetrators.