Saudi FM warns Tehran: We won't stand still over Iran's intervention in region

On visit to Egypt, Adel Al-Jubeir calls on Iran to "stop supporting terrorism."

May 31, 2015 19:06
2 minute read.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday that the Kingdom will not 'stand still' over Iran's intervention in the region.

The comments came during his visit to Egypt where he met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry.

Al-Jubeir said that the improvement of relations depends on whether Iran will "stop supporting terrorism " and stops "taking procedures that harm the region's interest".

"We refuse Iran's actions, the instigating actions that Iran is taking, the negative actions and it's support of terrorism. We are looking forward for the day when we can build strong relations with Iran. However, this depends on Iran's behavior and whether it stops intervening in the region's affairs, stops supporting terrorism, stops taking procedures that harm the region's interest and the people's interest. So this is in Iran's hands. The improvement and fortification of the relationship with Iran is up to Iran however we will not be silent and stand still over Iran's intervention in the region," said Al-Jubeir.

Western-allied Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab campaign against Yemen's Houthis, who follow a sect of Shi'ite Islam and are allied to Tehran. Analysts say the conflict is a tussle for influence between Sunni Muslim kingdom and Shi'ite power Iran.

The kingdom is also a leading supporter of Sunni Muslim rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Moscow, which is trying to raise its diplomatic and economic influence in the Middle East, has been a major provider of conventional weapons to Syria, giving Assad crucial support during the three-year civil war and blocking wider Western attempts to punish him with sanctions for the use of force against civilians.

During an Arab summit in March, Saudi Arabia accused Russia of hypocrisy, saying that it should not express support for the Middle East while fueling instability by supporting Assad.

Al-Jubeir said however that Saudi Arabia is trying to convince Russia to abandon their support of the Syrian leader.

"Our contact with Russia coincides with Egypt's contact with Russia and it is to convince Russia to abandon Bashar Al Assad, or use it's influence to pressure him to give up his power in the shortest time possible," said Al-Jubeir.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that Arab nations have the ability to protect national security against forces that are trying to unsettle stability.

"At no stage have the Arab nations intervened in the affairs of others or affected the nations outside this region. We expect that this is the rhetoric. If we cooperate we have the ability to protect our national security and work extensively to achieve the Arab interest without infiltration by any party which may unsettle stability and enforcing interests that may not correspond with the Arab people's interest."

Al-Jubeir is expected to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi later Sunday.

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