0143 GMT June 23, 2021
The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to enter into talks with Saudi Arabia to solve regional problems, said an MP.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Mohammad Hassan Asafari added that Iran has so far received no signal or message from Saudi Arabia showing Riyadh’s willingness to resolve bilateral and regional issues through negotiations.
Reacting to remarks by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the 75th United Nations General Assembly on September 23 that “the Kingdom’s hands were extended to Iran in peace with a positive and open attitude over the past decades, but to no avail,” Asafari said perhaps what the Saudi king meant by “kingdom’s extended hands” was sponsoring anti-Iran groups and circles.
After the Riyadh-backed terrorist groups fighting on the Daesh front were defeated, Saudi Arabia inevitably resorted to using its petrodollars and hypocrisy to have the United Nations Security Council and other international communities issue anti-Iran resolutions.
Despite Saudi Arabia’s blatant hostility toward Iran, the Islamic Republic has always sought to resolve the existing problems through negotiations, the lawmaker said, adding, “Even in 2013, when the Iranian Embassy in Lebanon came under a terrorist attack by Majed al-Majed, the Saudi ringleader of Abdullah Azzam Brigades, we expressed readiness to resolve the issue through negotiations with Saudi Arabian officials, but received no response from them.”
On November 19, 2013, two explosions occurred around Iran’s Embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, killing more than two dozen people and injuring some 150 others. The Iranian cultural attaché in Beirut was also among the dead.
Later, an Al-Qaeda-linked group, Abdullah Azzam Brigades, claimed responsibility for the terrorist bombings.
After being arrested, Majed was suspiciously declared dead.
Traces of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the act of terror by Majed were found. However, Majed died suspiciously in the hospital, reportedly due to an illness.
Following Majed’s detention, Iran had officially called for participation in his interrogation, a request to which the Saudi government did not consent.
Asafari said Iran is currently ready to hold negotiations with Saudi Arabia to resolve regional issues as “we believe that only the Zionist regime and enemies of Islam benefit from discord between Tehran and Riyadh”.
He added, although Iran maintains that Wahhabism is the other side of the Zionist regime’s coin, it also holds that discord between the Islamic Republic and other Muslim states will only be in the interest of anti-Islam groups and circles.
The MP also described as a “Wahhabi political joke” the move by the Saudi king to accuse Iran of supporting terrorism.
At present, the entire world knows that Wahhabi circles and the House of Saud are the main sponsors of terrorism in parts of Asia, Europe and even the US, he stressed, saying, they were even somehow behind the September 11 attacks.
Asafari noted that Saudi rulers accuse Iran of supporting terrorists because they are angry over the failure of their scenarios and petrodollars, aimed at putting the Islamic Republic under pressure, having failed to produce desired results.
He emphasized there is no document proving that Iran is supporting terrorism.
Turning to the possibility of talks between Iran and the US, the lawmaker said Tehran once held negotiations with Washington over the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but by pulling out of the deal the White House proved not to be committed to the deal.
At present, he said, US President Donald Trump seeks to bring Iran to the negotiating table to increase his chances of victory in the November 3 election.
In May 2018, Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA, signed between Iran and the P5+1 in July 2015, and reimposed Washington’s unilateral sanctions on Tehran. Mainly targeting Iran’s oil and banking sectors, the sanctions were aimed at crippling the Iranian economy, a result they failed to produce.
The MP underlined the importance of boosting Iran’s economic ties with neighboring and friendly countries.