Velayati Dismisses Saudi, Turkish Rhetoric

Velayati Dismisses Saudi, Turkish RhetoricVelayati Dismisses Saudi, Turkish Rhetoric

Top advisor to the Leader of Islamic Revolution dismissed recent anti-Iran remarks by Saudi and Turkish diplomats in their speeches at a global event, accusing Tehran of destabilizing the region.

In his Sunday address to the Munich Security Conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed Tehran was the main sponsor of global terrorism and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.

Ali Akbar Velayati denounced Jubeir's allegations as "groundless" and said, "We are accustomed to hearing such baseless and unwise remarks, and we ignore them," IRNA reported. 

"The hawkish Saudi policy stance against the Islamic Republic would eventually backfire on the oil kingdom," Velayati told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday. 

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are members of a western-backed coalition that provides support to Syria's armed militant groups in their six-year fight to dislodge President Bashar al-Assad who is allied to Iran and Russia.

Jubeir said the international community needed to set clear "redlines" to halt Iran's actions, calling for banking, travel and trade restrictions aimed at changing Tehran's behavior, Reuters reported.

"Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world. It is determined to upend the order in the Middle East ... [and] Until and unless Iran changes its behavior, it would be very difficult to deal with a country like this," he alleged.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu adopted a similar stance to reject an appeal from Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the same event for Persian Gulf Arab states to work with Tehran to reduce violence across the region.

He criticized what he claimed as Iranian "sectarian policy" aimed at undermining Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

"Turkey is very much against any kind of division, religious or sectarian," Cavusoglu told the delegates at the conference.

Commenting on Ankara's position, Velayati said it was "understandable", given the immense pressure to which the Turkish government is subjected.  

"Turkey has failed to meet any of its objectives on Syria … and never will," he said.

Ankara is part of a trilateral push with Moscow and Tehran to resolve the Syria crisis, initiated when the pro-Assad alliance was on the verge of retaking Aleppo, the second largest Syrian city. 

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