Iranians are on a rampage — Al-Jubeir

Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy has been a success; we are dealing with issues in best possible way


LONDON — Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said, "Iran's hand is in almost all countries in the region... Iranians are on a rampage and have been on a rampage since 1979" on Monday during a discussion here.

Al-Jubeir made these comments during a dialogue at Chatham House here on Monday. He also touched upon a wide range of subjects while discussing his country’s foreign policy positions and priorities.

Al-Jubeir reiterated that the Kingdom believes there is an 'Iran Problem' — its support of terrorist groups, its ballistic missile program and its destabilizing effect in the region and unless we deal with those problems, “we will always have an Iran problem as they keep on meddling in the internal affairs of other countries."

Al-Jubeir stressed that there can be no mediation with Iran, and we demand, “deeds not just words” from Islamic Republic, which he stated, “does not respect the sovereignty of states nor does it respect international law”.

He also stated that the stance taken by EU following the September attacks on the Aramco oil facilities was “the correct one”.

“Saudi Arabia is convinced, from the evidence we have gathered, that Iran is involved in the Aramco oil facilities attacks,” he said, adding, “Iran’s targeting of these facilities indicate Tehran’s hostile intentions in the region.”

“We are convinced that the missile attacks on Saudi facilities came from the North, not South. We have asked the UN for an investigation and we are consulting with our allies on what actions to take next," he said.

“We don't want war but we also can't sit idle and be attacked constantly by Iran and its proxies. What Iran needs to do is very simply to act like a normal country and stop its destabilizing the region with murderous actions," Al-Jubeir said.

The Saudi minister praised the efficiency of Saudi Aramco saying, “No company in the world has been able to recover in the same way Aramco has after the attacks on its facilities and I believe this enhances investor confidence.”

Speaking on the Iranian nuclear deal, Al-Jubeir said, “The agreement has many flaws as it does not include Iran’s ballistic activities and its aggressive intervention in the affairs of countries in the region.”

“We supported Trump when he pulled out from the JCPOA and we support him now in his maximum pressure strategy against Iran. There is a growing realization amongst countries who are part of the JCPOA that the ‘Iran Problem’ is not going away."

On the Ethiopia and Eritrea peace accord, Al-Jubeir said, “We have brought about peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, we are working with the G5 countries to stop the threat of Boko Haram, and we are working on Syria to help bring about a political settlement.

“We are doing all this because we want stability in the region... we don't want land... we don't want resources and the less problems we have around us in the region the more we can focus on internal changes in Saudi Arabia.”

On Jamal Khashoggi’s case, he said, “We have put in place mechanisms to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. We took responsibility, we began an investigation and it's a shame people pointed fingers before waiting for outcome of the trials."

“The Khashoggi issue is a very upsetting one for the Kingdom. We have said it was a rogue operation and his majesty (King Salman) has ordered an investigation. The trials are ongoing and once the trials are over, justice will take its course."

“I believe our foreign policy has been a success. We're dealing with the issues we face in the best possible way we can."

On Yemen, he said, "We have ongoing coordination and engagement with the UAE. The idea that we have cut ties is really not reflective of the reality and what's happening on the ground."

We have talked to the Omanis about the issue of smuggling and we will continue to work with them and engage with them. Oman’s policy has always been about reaching out so I don’t think Oman’s relationship with Iran is detrimental, he said.

On Syria, Al-Jubeir stated, “Nobody wins a civil war unless refugees return, prisoners are released and reconstruction begins. Everybody loses in war but everyone can win by ending the bloodshed and coming together.”