King Salman and Trump: Iran is the spearhead of terrorism

Turki Aldakhil
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The summits in Riyadh, which were chaired by King Salman and President Donald Trump, were of great significance. Not many people have anticipated these summits’ results. The cultural dimension distinguished the summits and it’s no longer possible to talk about possible tensions between the two countries.

The US president was grateful for Saudi Arabia’s hospitality and voiced appreciation for the kingdom’s rich culture. More than 55 leaders from Muslim-majority countries at the US-Islamic summit discussed terrorism and how it can infiltrate their countries.

King Salman firmly led the summit and was strengthened by the kingdom’s history that dates back for more than 300 years and which is marked with tolerance and co-existence.

There was no terrorism until after the Khomeini revolution in 1979, which brought bloodshed to other countries for the sake of expanding toward the region and exploiting it on sectarian lines. Following the revolution, the Iranian regime adopted the concept of exporting the revolution to Gulf countries and the Islamic world. It wanted expansion and not dialogue.

Saudi Arabia has tried – as much as possible – to politically contain the repercussions of the Khomeini revolution. They agreed on what was called the agreement with Rafsanjani at the time but this only reassured the Iranians more. Therefore, the Iranian regime went far in its interferences and terrorist practices.

It did not stop at spreading sectarianism but it also worked on thwarting the Hajj and Umrah seasons and raised Khomeini slogans.

The summit has come as a shock to the “axis of the resistance.” Some did not even acknowledge any of its positive results and instead criticized marginal details

Turki Aldakhil

Impossible dialogue

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman said it was illogical to hold dialogue with Iran again as it is impossible to do so with a regime whose aims are not civil but ideological. Iran seeks to expand its influence and spread sectarian strife in the Gulf and in the Islamic and Arab worlds while appearing like it is a defender of civil rights and international laws.

The Arab Islamic American Summit was later held and Trump’s and King Salman’s statements and stances were clear. During the summit, King Salman said: “The region did not know terrorism and extremism until the Khomeini revolution. The Iranian regime, Hezbollah, the Houthis, ISIS and al-Qaeda are sides of the same coin. Our countries made initiatives out of good intentions but Iran replaced them with expansionist ambitions and criminal practices and interfered in the internal affairs of other countries. The Iranian regime is working on spreading sectarianism in cooperation with groups that support it. The Saudi kingdom will not blame the Iranian people for the crimes of their regime.”

The summit has come as a shock to the “axis of the resistance.” Some did not even acknowledge any of its positive results and instead criticized marginal details. The joint strategic vision at the end of the summit was historic and proof of the fact that criticism was meant to target the essence of agreements and statements.

“A robust, integrated regional security architecture is critical to our cooperation. The United States of America and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia intend to expand engagement with other countries in the region over the coming years and to identify new areas of cooperation. Over the course of our history, the United States of America and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have developed a productive partnership built upon trust, cooperation, and shared interests. We now stand together to thwart our common enemies, to strengthen the bonds between us, and to chart a path towards peace and prosperity for all,” the joint vision declaration said.

During the summit, Trump condemned the practices of Hezbollah, the Houthis and terrorist organizations. This explains why some were angry with this new American administration and its shifts towards the region’s causes.

Trump visit has ended with several positive outcomes including the importance of resuming economic development with Saudi Arabia, ending terrorism as seen in the inauguration of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology and confirming Hezbollah’s terrorist role.

The global summits have resulted in pre-empting the catastrophic practices of Iran – which is the biggest sponsor of terrorism. It will also help curb organizations affiliated with it, mainly ISIS and al-Qaeda.

This article is also available in Arabic.
Turki Aldakhil is the General Manager of Al Arabiya News Channel. He began his career as a print journalist, covering politics and culture for the Saudi newspapers Okaz, Al-Riyadh and Al-Watan. He then moved to pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat and pan-Arab news magazine Al-Majalla. Turki later became a radio correspondent for the French-owned pan-Arab Radio Monte Carlo and MBC FM. He proceeded to Elaph, an online news magazine and, the news channel’s online platform. Over a ten-year period, Dakhil’s weekly Al Arabiya talk show “Edaat” (Spotlights) provided an opportunity for proponents of Arab and Islamic social reform to make their case to a mass audience. Turki also owns Al Mesbar Studies and Research Centre and Madarek Publishing House in Dubai. He has received several awards and honors, including the America Abroad Media annual award for his role in supporting civil society, human rights and advancing women’s roles in Gulf societies. He tweets @TurkiAldakhil.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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