In a wide-ranging interview with The Atlantic’s editor-in-chief, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reiterated that the nuclear deal signed by world powers with Iran has not actually benefitted Iranian citizens but actually did the opposite.
Bin Salman, who spoke to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg during his current visit to the United States, challenged anyone to provide proof that any economic benefits of Iran signing their deal with the P5+1 has turned into opportunities for its people.
“President Obama believed that if he gave Iran opportunities to open up, it would change. But with a regime based on this ideology, it will not open up soon. Sixty percent of the Iranian economy is controlled by the Revolutionary Guard. The economic benefits of the Iran nuclear deal are not going to the people,” he told The Atlantic.
“They took $150 billion after the deal—can you please name one housing project they built with this money? One park? One industrial zone? Can you name for me the highway that they built? I advise them—please show us something that you’re building a highway with $150 billion,” he said.
The full transcript of the interview, published under the title: “Saudi Crown Prince: Iran’s Supreme Leader ‘Makes Hitler Look Good’”, laid out Saudi Arabia’s stance on several geo-political crises that has shaped the Middle East since 1979.
‘Triangle of Evil’
At the center of the points made is not only Iran’s disruptive foreign policies, but what the prince deemed as the “Triangle of Evil” as a consequence of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, consisting of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and terror groups.
“This triangle is promoting an idea that God and Islam are not asking us to promote. Their idea is totally against the principles of the United Nations, and the idea of different nations having laws that represent their needs. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Yemen—all of these countries are defending the idea that independent nations should focus on their own interests, in building good relations on the foundation of UN principles. The evil triangle doesn’t want to do that,” he said.
The triangle, according to the crown prince, and their ideologies therefore did not match the tenants and message of Islam.
“Islam is a religion of peace. This is the translation of Islam. God, in Islam, gives us two responsibilities: The first is to believe, to do good things, and not bad things. If we do bad things, God will judge us on Judgment Day.
Our second duty as Muslims is to spread the word of God. For 1,400 years, Muslims have been trying to spread the word of God. In the Middle East, in North Africa, in Europe, they weren’t allowed to spread the word. That’s why they fought to spread the word. But you also see that, in a lot of countries in Asia—Indonesia, Malaysia, India—Muslims were free to spread the word. They were told, “Go ahead, say whatever you want to say, the people have free will to believe whatever they want to believe in.”
“Islam, in this context, was not about conquering, it was about peacefully spreading the word,” the crown prince said.
Terror financing and Qatar
The prince also challenged the notion that the Saudi government financed terrorist groups and asked anyone to “bring any evidence” proving so.
When it comes to financing extremist groups, I challenge anyone if he can bring any evidence that the Saudi government financed terrorist groups,” he said.
“Yes, there are people from Saudi Arabia who financed terrorist groups. This is against Saudi law. We have a lot of people in jail now, not only for financing terrorist groups, but even for supporting them. One of the reasons we have a problem with Qatar is that we are not allowing them to use the financial system between us to collect money from Saudis and give it to extremist organizations,” he added.
Asked by Goldberg whether Saudi Arabia would ever be friendly with Qatar again, the crown prince said it would depend on Doha. “It has to happen, one day. We hope they learn fast”.
Source » alarabiya