Iran chief sponsor of terrorism: Jubeir

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir (left) and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi address a joint press conference in Islamabad on Monday.

Saudi Gazette report

Islamabad —
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir reiterated on Monday that Iran has been the chief sponsor of terrorism for decades.

Addressing a joint press conference with Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Jubeir questioned how Iran could accuse others of engaging in terrorist activities.

He assailed Iran for initially blaming the Kingdom for last week’s attack that killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

The allegations by Iran sought to divert the attention of the Iranian people from the country’s own troubles, said the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs.

“Saudi Arabia has been the victim of terrorism. ... We have been unmerciful in going after terrorists and those who support them and condone them and finance them,” he said, adding, “We will continue to do so.”

On India-Pakistan ties, Jubeir said, “Our objective is to try to de-escalate tensions between the two countries, neighboring countries, and to see if there is a path forward to resolving those differences peacefully.”

Jubeir said Iran has been sponsoring terrorism since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Iran has established terrorist groups such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthis in Yemen, he said, adding that Iran had been implicated in terrorist attacks that took place in other countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

He said Iran has been providing arms to terrorist groups and interfering in other countries’ affairs as well as harboring terrorists of Al Qaeda, including Osama Bin Laden’s son.

“We wish to eliminate the scourge of terrorism from the face of this planet,” he said.

Stressing the importance of Saudi-Pakistan ties, Jubeir said the Kingdom had a strategic interest in Pakistan.

He said that several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and agreements signed between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan were just the beginning, making clear that “this is not charity — this is an investment”.

“There is benefit for both sides. If we didn’t believe in Pakistan, we wouldn’t have been looking at these investments,” he added.

Jubeir said the Saudi-Pakistan Supreme Coordination Council (SCC) that has been established to boost political, diplomatic and trade ties would involve almost every facet of the governments.