Iran says Saudi Arabia is not willing to change course even though it continues to pay the price for its own mistakes, leaving little to hope for in terms of improving ties.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Tehran welcomes a more stable Middle East but there are no indications that the regime in Riyadh is ready to take on a more constructive role in the region.
“Iran’s policy in the region and towards its neighbors has always been clear and any country that is willing to improve ties will get a positive answer from Iran,” he told reporters in Tehran.
“Currently, we don’t see a similar vibe coming from the Saudi government,” Qassemi said. “We think they continue to live with the same delusions from the past.”
Iran has time and again called on Riyadh to abandon its destabilizing policies and work towards resolving regional conflicts.
Saudi Arabia stands accused of propping up terrorist groups wreaking havoc in Syria while also providing support to separatist groups that have carried out attacks against Iranian people.
The Saudi regime is also facing growing international criticism over the actions of its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Besides waging a deadly war on Yemen, which has prompted a backlash from even Riyadh’s closest Western allies, bin Salman has put the Saudi regime into more trouble by ordering the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Kahshoggi.
The young prince’s policies have chased away foreign investors while persuading a growing number of governments to reconsider financial and political ties with Riyadh.
“Saudi leaders are delusional and keep struggling with the problems that they have created in the region and pay the price today,” Qassemi said.
US seeking to promote Iranophobia
Qassemi also dismissed as “psychological warfare” a lawsuit at a US court that sought to hold Iran responsible for the deaths and injuries of US soldiers in Iraq.
During the three-day trial, which begins on Monday, a group of US veterans and their families will try to sue Iran for the deaths and injuries caused by what they claim have been “Iranian weapons” in Iraq.
“This is part of the psychological warfare that the US is always in pursuit of in different ways,” Qassemi said, noting that the “baseless” accusations are only meant to spread Iranophobia.
“Iran has always played a constructive role in fighting terror in the region, specifically in Iraq,” he added.
Qassemi said Iraq is still suffering from the “widespread humanitarian atrocities” that resulted from America’s actions, including its 2003 invasion of the Arab country.
Special payment channel with EU coming through
Qassemi further said negotiations with the European Union to establish a special payment channel with Iran are ongoing although US pressure and the “complexity of the issue” has slowed down progress.
The Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) is supposed to bypass US sanctions against Iran and allow European businesses to freely trade with their Iranian peers.
After pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May, US President Donald Trump stepped up economic sanctions against Tehran and threatened allies with heavy penalties in case of any violation.
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