Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday that his country was deeply skeptical of the Iran nuclear deal.
“We don’t have confidence in Iran,” he said. “We have confidence in the United States.”
Long-simmering tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have been on the rise recently.
Since last year, the two have been fighting a proxy war of sorts over Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has intervened.
But the problems really flared just after the new year, when Saudi Arabia executed 47 people, including a prominent Shiite cleric.
The Iranian government expressed indignation, and protesters in Tehran attacked the Saudi Arabian Embassy. Six Middle Eastern nations decried Iran’s failure to protect the embassy, and Saudi Arabia cut off diplomatic relations. Days later, Iran accused Saudi Arabia of intentionally striking its embassy in Yemen.
On the other hand Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive TV interview: “We don’t expect, or we’re not interested even, in pushing Saudi Arabia out of this region, because Saudi Arabia is an important player in this region.”
“We believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia can be two important players who can accommodate each other, who can complement each other, in the region.”
On the other hand he emphasized, as he did in an op-ed for The New York Times earlier this month, that 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudis, and blamed the “Wahhabi ideology” for much of the violent extremism now seen in the region and indeed in the West.
EDITORS NOTE: The other hijackers were from the United Arab Emirates (2), Egypt (1) and Lebanon(1) .
It should be of interest to the readers to note that seven the Saudi hijackers spent some time in Iran . This includes Khalid Muhammad Abdallah al-Mihdhar, Hamza al-Ghamdi , Mohand Muhammed Fayiz al-Shehri, Wail Mohammed al-Shehri , Satam Muhammed Abdel Rahman al-Suqami, Majed Mashaan Ghanem Moqed , Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Nami .
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