Al-Jubeir advises international community: ‘Go after Iran wherever it operates’
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said on Wednesday that Saudi Arabia holds Iran responsible for the September 14 attacks on the country’s oil facilities.
“We have a team in Saudi Arabia that’s investigating the attack. We know, we are certain that the equipment used were Iranian-made. That’s why we hold Iran responsible,” said al-Jubeir in a conversation with former US national intelligence manager for Iran, Norman Roule.
Al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia’s focus is to try and settle conflicts in the region “compared to the Iranian approach which is death and destruction.” He added that the leadership in Tehran is “single-handedly responsible for every problem in our area."
Al-Jubeir called on the international community to “go after Iran wherever it operates” including countries like Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon.
He called Iran the chief sponsor of terrorism, with a record of providing shelter for al-Qaeda leaders and collaborating with ISIS.
“It is not a surprise that Iran is the only country in the region that has not been attacked by al-Qaeda or ISIS,” said al-Jubeir.
“You cannot attack the world and take out five or six percent of the world’s oil supply and get away with it. [Iran] has gotten away with murder for 40 years and it’s time to stop them now,” added al-Jubeir.
Al-Jubeir highlighted that Saudi Arabia was the first country to support US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday that the US was engaging in “international piracy” against his country by re-imposing economic sanctions after Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.
Rouhani’s remarks came a day after Trump described Iran as “one of the greatest threats” to the planet.
Diplomatic efforts in Europe have scrambled to preserve the nuclear deal by searching, still unsuccessfully, for ways around the US sanctions.
“It has now become clear for all that the United States turns back to its commitments and Europe is unable and incapable of fulfilling its commitments,” Rouhani said.
In a joint statement on Monday, Britain, France and Germany joined the US and Saudi Arabia in blaming Iran for the attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities and said the time had come for Iran to accept negotiations on its missile program and issues of regional security.
Al-Jubeir said that countries not holding Iran responsible for its actions are taking the approach of appeasement and not wanting to look at the reality of the situation.
“To think that within 12 years Iran will go from being an ideological, revisionist state to a liberal democracy is wishful thinking, in fact it has gone in the other direction,” said al-Jubeir.
Al-Jubeir began his diplomatic career in Washington, where he served as Special Assistant to then Ambassador Prince Bandar bin Sultan. He was appointed ambassador to the US in 2007, with the rank of minister.
In August 2015, King Salman bin Abdulaziz appointed al-Jubeir as the Kingdom’s foreign minister.
The event is hosted by United Against Nuclear Iran, a nonprofit, bipartisan, advocacy group that “seeks to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to obtain nuclear weapons.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave the opening remarks to launch the summit. Panels discussed topics including Tehran’s policy of hostage taking and the impact of US sanctions on Iran.