Iranian Foreign Minister Blasts Saudi Reckless Extremism

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Iranian Foreign Minister Blasts Saudi Reckless Extremism
by Stephen Lendman
New York Times editors surprisingly gave Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif op-ed space. He remarked candidly about Saudi Arabia’s reckless agenda.
It’s the epicenter of regionally-sponsored violence and chaos, a monster threatening endless conflicts and instability.
Zarif explained President Hassan Rohani’s top foreign policy priority since taking office: “friendship with our neighbors, peace and stability in the region and global cooperation,” especially in combating terrorism. 
Weeks after taking office, he introduced his World Against Violence and Extremism (WAVE) initiative. UN General Assembly members approved it by consensus.
Some countries obstruct “constructive engagement,” said Zarif. Saudi Arabia continues going all-out to undermine last year’s nuclear deal.
Extremists in Riyadh not only “impede normalization, but are determined to drag the entire region into confrontation,” Zarif explained.
Their “active sponsorship of violent extremism” (is) the real global threat.” Beheadings and other shocking human rights abuses expose their “barbarism.”
“(P)etrodollar-financed demagogues…have promoted anti-Islamic messages of hatred and sectarianism for decades.”
Saudi strategy includes “pressuring the West; promoting regional instability (including by waging terror-war on Yemen); sponsoring (violent) extremism; and directly provoking Iran.”
Iranian officials condemned the assault on Riyadh’s Tehran embassy. They restored order, protected Saudi diplomats, and took steps to prevent a future incident.
Saudis and their “surrogates…directly targeted Iranian diplomatic facilities in Yemen, Lebanon and Pakistan” over the past three years, committing numerous other provocations, Zarif explained.
Their “hate speech” against Iran and Shiite Muslims is notorious, using regime “appointed preachers.”
Ahead of Sheik Nimr’s extrajudicial execution, a Grand Mosque preacher in Mecca delivered a “sermon of hatred toward Shiites.”
Last year he said “our disagreement with Shiites will not be removed, nor our suicide to fight them” as long as they exist.
“Throughout these episodes, Iran, confident of its strength, has refused to retaliate or break – or even downgrade – diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia. We have until now responded with restraint; but unilateral prudence is not sustainable,” Zarif stressed.
Iran supports “dialogue, (regional) stability and (unity in combating) extremism.” Riyadh’s agenda is polar opposite, allied with Washington and other rogue partners. Nothing in prospect suggests positive change.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.