Al Jubeir: Iran poses threat to entire region

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Iran is a threat to the entire region and the world should stand firm against it, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al Jubeir has said.

“Nobody is talking about a regime change in Iran. The solution is to have a negotiating table and agree on a better JCPOA [Iran nuclear deal], stop interference into other countries and behaviours towards terrorism,” Al Jubeir added at the Mediterranean Dialogues, a foreign policy conference, in Rome on Friday.

Tensions have mounted between Saudi Arabia and Iran after a September 14 attack on major Saudi oil facilities that Riyadh and the US squarely blamed on Tehran.

“Its [Iran’s] aggression can no longer be tolerated,” Al Jubeir said.

According to him, Iran believes in exporting revolution and does not respect other countries’ sovereignty.

He called for depriving Iran of the tools it uses to threaten the Arab region and the rest of the world.

The Saudi official suggested the possibility of reaching calmness in Yemen to be followed by a peaceful solution to the country’s devastating feud. The envisaged settlement will comprise all Yemenis, including Al Houthis, according to Al Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia is leading a military campaign in Yemen against Iran-aligned Al Houthi militia, who toppled the internationally recognised government there in late 2014.

In recent weeks, there have been media reports about indirect talks between Saudi Arabia and Al Houthis.

Addressing the Rome forum, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad Bin Abdul Rahman confirmed reports about talks between his country and Saudi Arabia to resolve the two-year Gulf row.

“We have moved from a stalemate to some progress where some talks took place between us and specifically Saudis,” the official said, according to Qatari Al Jazeera TV.

“We hope that these talks will lead to our progress where we can see an end for the crisis,” he added without giving details.

June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt broke off diplomatic and transportation links with Qatar over its support for extremist groups.

The anti-Qatar quartet has repeatedly demanded Doha to comply with a set of conditions to mend ties. The demands include Qatar’s severance of links with militant and terror groups and scaling down links with Iran.

Qatar has refused the conditions, saying they violate its sovereignty.

On Friday, the Qatari foreign minister said tersely that the talk is no longer on those demands.

In recent weeks, Kuwait has stepped up efforts to end the Gulf crisis.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri meanwhile said Qatar has not stopped “its subversive policy”.

In remarks at the Rome forum, the top Egyptian diplomat added that Doha has not changed its policy.

“It is hosting terrorist organisations, supporting them and interfering in the internal affairs of the region’s countries,” he said.

“Terrorism is not limited to Daesh and Al Qaida. But there are also the Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram and other militant groups,” Shoukri added, according to Egypt’s semi-official newspaper Al Ahram.

Egypt has designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, accusing it of involvement in a string of deadly attacks in the country.

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