Rafsanjani: New Saudi rulers endanger regional security

Tehran, Jan 11, IRNA – Chairman of Expediency Council (EC) Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani criticized warmongering policies of new Saudi rulers saying that they are committing domestic and foreign policy moves which endanger security in the region.

He made the remarks in a meeting with former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who is in Tehran heading a politico-economic delegation, here on Monday.

In the meeting, the two sides discussed economic, political, scientific and educational relations between Iran and Germany as well as international and regional issues, especially issues concerning Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and emergence of Daesh terrorist group as well as ups and downs in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Replyingto a question of Schroeder concerning Syria, Rafsanjani described situation in Syria very complicated and said many of these terrorists, who already were dispersed in different areas and had no organization, misused the situation in Syria and committed crimes.

Rafsanjani underlined that existing terrorists in Syria are warmongers who will never be silent and added that Iran is worried about Syria, because it is a difficult crisis, which has destroyed their economic and dispersed families and caused human catastrophe committed there.

Concerning new tensions in Iran-Saudi Arabia relations, which was asked by Schroeder, Rafsanjani said that the issue is strange and the inexperienced and extremist expanded it, while the most damage would be for Islamic World.

About execution of Ayatollah Nimr, Rafsanjani said that it was a clear sign of irrationality and added that Nimr was not a terrorist, he had no political party or organization and criticized only through delivering speeches.

‘He was convicted to capital punishment from many years ago and I wrote a letter and sent a message and talked over phone with late King Abdullah that the execution of such a person is not prudent and he stopped the procedure.’

He termed repeated disruptions during Iran’s nuclear negotiations with P5+1 as another mistaken policy of the Saudi rulers, especially following Joint Comprehensive Plan of action (JCPOA) agreement saying that in spite of Saudi claims of being in contradiction with Israel, in this case they were completely with Israelis.

Referring to importance of Hajj rituals in Islam, Rafsanjani said that Iran’s policy is to decrease tension with neighboring countries, especially Saudi Arabia, while the issues of Hajj and oil could make both countries closer to each other.

He said that Iran has an axis and basic role in regional security and does not want this security to be tampered with ethnical, religious and political differences.

Also referring to presence of Daesh terrorists in Iraq and unsuccessful coalition of westerns to destroy the terrorist group, Rafsanjani said that aerial attacks cannot destroy terrorists and that to uproot these terrorists, Iraqi people should fight with them by support of foreign countries.

Concerning importance of cooperation between Iran and Germany by existing capacities and grounds, the ayatollah said that Iran could be a gateway for German economy and sciences into the region by around 400 million population and that it necessitates strengthening and expanding relations and cooperation.

Chairman of the Expediency Council by referring to rich resources of oil and gas called Iran as an important world energy center and said that modern technology of Germany can prepare ground for scientific, industrial and economic cooperation, even in using renewable energies.

One of outstanding grounds for Iran-West cooperation is fight against terrorists, he added, Iran has valuable experiences in the fight with terrorists and it is why Iran is the most secure country among the insecure countries of the region.

Schroeder expressed pleasure overr his visit to Tehran and underlined his country’s intention to create sustainable relations with Iran.
Former German chancellor also said that stability, peace and security in the region are beneficial for all countries and by referring to the situation in Syria said that Vienna talks should be continued as a sustainable policy for security in the region and the world without paying attention to short time policies of a certain countries.

He said that security in the Middle East is important for Europe and expressed sorrow for tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and added that the world is waiting to witness decrease in tensions between the two countries.

Although it is not easy, he said, valuable experiences of Iran could be helpful in this regard.

Schroeder said that the US does not need Saudi oil and gas anymore and new Saudi rulers are trying to find a new role in the region, while this move is contrary to stability, peace and security in the region.

Referring to the situation in Syria, Schroeder said that the main mistake took place by the west and Turkey, when they said President Bashar Assad should leave Syria and then talks start, while if negotiations could take place as a priority, maybe many of problems could have been solved.

He underlined that without Iran no peace could be possible in the region and added that by solving Iran’s nuclear issue, political relations of world’s important countries with Iran could help establishment of peace, security in the region and the whole world.