A senior Iranian official has highlighted the key Saudi role in founding and sponsoring terrorist groups, saying Riyadh has failed to truly mend its ways.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani made the comments on Monday in response to a question about the Islamic Republic’s stance on the recent visit by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir to Iraq.
“Of course, we consider as positive any move by countries supporting terrorist groups, particularly Saudi Arabia, to turn back from their destructive policies in the past and make up for their mistakes,” he said.
However, he added, “No real change in the approach by this country [Saudi Arabia] has been witnessed.”
Jubeir made a rare visit to Baghdad on Saturday as the first by a high-ranking Saudi official since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and was welcomed by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The two sides “discussed cooperation in various fields, including the fight against the Daesh gangs,” a statement from Abadi’s office said.
Shamkhani further said that one cannot easily disregard the role that Saudi Arabia has played in creating and nurturing defeated terrorist groups in Iraq and “the irreparable damage” that these Takfiris have inflicted upon regional countries, especially Iraq and Syria.
Saudi Arabia is accused of providing material and ideological support to extremist groups, including Daesh, which is wreaking havoc particularly in Syria and Iraq. The Daesh terrorist group’s hallmark line of thought, namely Wahhabism, is Saudi Arabia’s official ideology. Wahhabism is a strand of radical ideology.
Elsewhere, the SNSC secretary brushed aside remarks by some foreign officials expressing suspicion over the lack of major Takfiri terrorist attacks in Iran, saying, “Terrorists can carry out bombings and terrorist measures in countries that have been the origin of their nurturing and training and where they have bases and support for their evil intentions.”
Shamkhani described the social, political and cultural conditions in Iran as being completely at odds with terrorist ideologies and teachings.
“The presence of a vigilant security apparatus and wise and discerning citizens,” he said, “prevents the presence, growth and operation of terrorist elements inside the country.”
Iran has been providing military advisory support to both Iraq and Syria in their campaign against terrorism at the request of the two countries’ governments.
The Islamic Republic was among the first countries to help Iraq when the Daesh terrorist group unleashed a campaign of death and destruction in the northern and western parts of the Arab country in 2014.