TEHRAN (FNA)- Given Iran’s extensive relations with the eastern and western states, Saudi Arabia is not able to isolate Tehran by cutting ties with such a large country, a commander of the Syrian popular forces and tribal leader said.
“Saudi Arabia, which has lost the opportunity to approach Iran despite Tehran’s repeated demands, cannot isolate Iran regionally and internationally since Iran enjoys strong relations with Russia and China and the European countries are also resuming their political and economic relations with Iran and of course, these have frightened the Saudi regime as well as Israel,” Sheikh Fayez al-Namis told FNA on Thursday.
“Therefore, we can say that the crime of the assassination of Sheikh Nimr (Baqir al-Nimr, the prominent Shiite cleric, by the Saudi regime) was a justification to foment sectarian strife in the region and no doubt the US and the Israeli regime had earlier shown a green light to Riyadh,” he added.
His remarks came after Iran’s government spokesman downplayed Saudi Arabia and its little allies’ cutting or downgrading relations with Tehran following a spat between Riyadh and Tehran over the criminal beheading of a Shiite leader.
Mohammad Baqer Nobakht described Saudi Arabia as a small-size state that needs to rally support to be seen on regional or global stage, “but we don’t need to form any such coalition” because Iran is already a major state and key player in the region.
“A large number of important world states have queued for expanding relations with us,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“What could be Saudi Arabia’s share when we are developing relations with many countries,” he asked.
Nobakht underlined that cutting bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia and some other small countries which are dependent on Riyadh for their survival doesn’t affect Iran since Tehran enjoys extensive ties with different world states, reminding that a senior 60-member European delegation is already in Tehran to expand ties and cooperation with Iran.
Also, on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Saudi Arabia seeks to divert the public opinion from its cruel beheading of Sheikh Nimr through diplomatic tumult with Tehran, and called on advocates of human rights to break silence on Riyadh’s crimes.
Speaking in a meeting with the Danish foreign minister in Tehran, President Rouhani referred to the execution of Sheikh Nimr and 46 others for criticizing the Saudi government, and said, “Criticism shouldn’t be punished by beheading and we hope that the European countries which always show reaction to the human rights issues comply with their human rights responsibilities in this regard too.”
“Of course, the Saudi government has embarked on a surprising action and cut off its political relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to cap its crime of beheading a religious leader in the country while there is no doubt that such measures cannot cover up that big crime,” he added.
The Saudi interior ministry announced on Saturday that it has executed Sheikh Nimr and 46 others. After the news was released, angry Iranian protestors stormed the Saudi embassy following which Riyadh announced severing diplomatic ties with Iran.
President Rouhani described talks and diplomacy as the best way to settle the countries’ differences, and said the current conditions in the region need cooperation among all countries to save the country from the threat of terrorism.
“Tehran is ready to cooperate with other countries, including the EU states, to fight against terrorism,” he stressed.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced on Sunday that the country had severed diplomatic ties with Tehran and gave the Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave the country.
On Monday, Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) for Political Affairs Brigadier General Rasoul Sanayee Raad said Saudi Arabia is no big deal and Iran cared to maintain its relations with Riyadh only for ideological reasons.
“Instead of acting upon his responsibility and responding to the public opinion on issues like unfair attack against the Muslim country of Yemen, interference in Bahrain, scandalous support for the Takfiri streams, including the ISIL, Boko Haram and regional terrorists, which have all been very clearly revealed to everyone and even its meddling in our country’s internal affairs by contacts with the weak, but pretentious and terrorist, grouplets in Southeastern Iran, the young and nervous Saudi foreign minister has actually tried to project the blame on others after the martyrdom of Ayatollah Nimr,” Sanayee Raad told FNA.
He underlined that if it hadn’t been for brotherly and ideological issues in the Muslim world, Iran would have never cared for its relations with Saudi Arabia which is entangled in dire security, political and economic problems.
Sanayee Raad downplayed Riyadh’s claim that it will stand against Iran, and described them as a bluff for a country which hires marines and forces from other states to continue war in Yemen.