Iran denies Trump’s claims it sponsors terrorism
By TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF
May 30, 2017
Iran on Monday dismissed US President Donald Trump’s allegations that it is a major sponsor of terrorism as “incorrect and irrelevant.”
Trump, during his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, accused Tehran of spearheading global terror. Along with Saudi King Salman he called for the Islamic Republic to be shunned.
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” Trump said.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi dismissed the accusations during a press briefing.
“These improper, incorrect and irrelevant positions of certain countries are nothing new and they try to project the blame on others and such remarks are unbelievable and unacceptable,” he said.
According to the Fars news agency, Qassemi also questioned how Tehran could be a sponsor of terror when it had just recently proven to the world its democratic bona fides with its presidential elections.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s monarchy faces “certain downfall” for aligning itself with the US and that its regime could be toppled sooner rather than later.
“They will be gone, they can be toppled and can perish [or be destroyed]… there is no doubt about it… it is certain that it will happen,” Khamnei said during a religious gathering in comments translated from Persian.
In further scathing remarks against Riyadh, Khamenei said the Muslim world has been placed in “grave danger” by “a group of worthless, inept and villainous people [who] are ruling over a community of the Muslim nation, namely the Saudi government.”
Khamenei also said that Saudi Arabia is a “cow being milked” by the United States, a week after the kingdom signed an $110 billion weapons deal with Trump during his visit last Saturday. Private sector and other agreements with the US totaled some $350 billion.
Majority Shiite Iran and predominantly Sunni Saudi Arabia support opposite sites in the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East.
AP contributed to this report.