Certain Arab countries in the Middle East are trying to divert attention from the inherent challenges in their systems and seek to misrepresent Iran as a source of threat, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said.
In comments at a cultural ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, Zarif said the regional Arab states’ inability to meet public demands has created tense situation, particularly in Saudi Arabia.
The Arab world’s intelligentsia and the grass roots feel a sense of frustration after developments in recent years and the lack of proper reaction by their rulers, Zarif explained, saying the governments are trying to whitewash their inability by steering the public hatred towards sectarian and ethnic rift.
“Today, they (Arab states) are faced with a critical challenge, which is of course not from Iran,” he added.
Zarif then underlined that Iran has behaved with dignity over the past three decades, which is a quality of greatness, noting that the harsh behavior and indecent remarks by the Saudi rulers is a sign of weakness.
The top Iranian diplomat finally added that ill-wishers of Iran are entangled in a “strategic failure.”
Tensions in the ties between Tehran and Riyadh started to escalate after Saudi Arabia on January 2 executed prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, among dozens of others. The execution ignited widespread international condemnation, from both political and religious figures.