Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Thursday said his country and its allies are determined to push the “world’s chief sponsor of terrorism” out of the Arab world if it does not move out on its own.
“Iran has no role in the Arab world other than to get out,” Al-Jubeir said in a forum of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, a think-tank, repeating previous statements by Saudi Arabia and its allies that Iran is trying to dominate the Mideast region.
He said Iran spent the last four decades trying to entrench itself in the Arab world through proxy militias such as the Hezbollah of Lebanon, but Saudi Arabia and its allies “will work on pushing them back and I have no doubt that in the end we will succeed.”
He pointed out that the Iranians “are losing in Yemen, their position is not what it was a few years ago in Iraq, and in Syria over the long run they will lose and in Lebanon Hezbollah will change.”
Al-Jubeir’s remarks comes a day after US President Donald Trump blasted Iran in his annual address to the UN General Assembly, accusing its leaders of corruption and spreading chaos throughout the Middle East and beyond.
Iran’s economy has been on a downward spiral after Trump got the US out of a 2015 deal in which Western nations would free frozen Iranian assets in exchange for Tehran’s freezing its nuclear weapons ambitions. Iran has been accused of exploiting the deal to develop missiles that it uses to threaten its neighbors.
Al-Jubeir said Iran is solely to blame for the morass that its economy is in.
On Wednesday, the Iranian rial hit a record low against the US dollar on the unofficial market and the nation has seen growing protests amid a deterioration in the economic situation.
He said Iran’s model of “sectarianism and terrorism” is doomed to failure. “I hope that Iran can have a government that is responsible so that the Iranian people, who have a great history, can lead normal lives,” he said.
Al-Jubeir also took the occasion to explain the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s campaign in Yemen in support of the UN-recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi against the Iran-backed Houthi militia.
“There was no way we were going to allow a radical militia allied with Iran and Hezbollah, in possession of ballistic missiles and an air force to take over a country that is strategically important to the world and that is our neighbor. So we responded to reverse the coup that the Houthis staged,” he said.
“The Houthis have every right to be part of the Yemeni political system, but have no right to dominate,” he added.
He lamented the lack of world outrage over the atrocities being committed by Houthis, including its use of children as soldiers, and starving villagers by laying siege to their towns in an effort to blame the Coalition, and firing missiles to populated areas in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
“The Houthis have lobbed 197 ballistic missiles at our cities, and they have fired more than 200 ballistic missiles at Yemeni cities, and I don’t see any outrage,” he said. “They randomly plant mines all over the country and people lose life and limb and nobody says anything and we get blamed for it.”
On the other hand, whenever the Coalition is believed to have made a mistake in its operations, it has its own in-house body that investigates, and if non-combatants have been harmed, the probe body announces the result of the investigation and the Coalition pays compensation according to international humanitarian law.
While the Houthis are still fighting, he said they are losing and the area under their control is down to 20 percent.
Al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was hopeful that the Yemen conflict would finally be resolved politically, based on the GCC initiative, the outcome of the Yemeni dialogue and the UN security council resolution 2216.
Source » arabnews