Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says “Saudi invasion of Yemen is an all-out war against a nation. We are faced with a genocide in the country.”
According to a report by IFP, Larijani made the remarks in a press conference on March 13, answering a question about Saudi Arabia’s crimes in Yemen.
He added Iran is following up on the issue of Yemen, as it is a very important topic.
“Iran is very sensitive about this issue and is upbeat that Saudi Arabia would eventually change its behaviour towards Sana’a after its two-year imposed war against the country. The continuation of this war is not in the interest of Saudi Arabia, as an important regional country. We are hopeful about a change of policy by Saudi Arabia in this regard.”
In response to a question on the 2015 Mina tragic incident and Tehran’s willingness to resume ties with Riyadh, he said, “Iran’s foreign policy, in general, is based on fostering friendly relations with all Muslim countries.”
“However, we are required to work towards this goal within a pre-established framework. Mina stampede immensely distressed us. Nevertheless, we have set a number of frameworks and are required to move within them.”
On Iran’s relations with Egypt, the Iranian parliament speaker said Egypt and Iran are two regional countries with a strong civilizational background which maintain an acceptable growth.
Tehran has always taken great care to establish rational ties with Cairo, he added.
Larijani noted that previously, relations between the two states were slightly damaged due to Egypt’s behaviour towards Iran as well as a number of other factors.
Nevertheless, now that the conditions have changed, Iran welcomes any move by the country that would help normalise relations, he added.
“Egypt is an important country, but the steps taken so far have always failed to lead to the deepening of the relationship between the two states.”
Appointment of Ambassadors to Damascus, Muscat, Sana’a
Responding to a question on why the Iranian Parliament has not adopted a firm stance towards appointing Iranian ambassadors to important countries such as Syria, Oman and Yemen while it has a commission called “National Security and Foreign Policy Commission”, he acknowledged the delay in dispatching Iranian envoys to a number of states, stressing that, “We are not faced with a lack of diplomats suitable for such missions. We have sufficient connections. However, we are required to follow up the issue to resolve the problems.”
Outcomes of Talks with Persian Gulf States
Asked about his evaluation of the visits by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif to Kuwait and Oman as well as Qatar, respectively, he said Iran has always done its utmost to maintain peaceful and brotherly relations with the neighbouring states and adopt a positive approach to them.
“Perhaps, at certain occasions, a neighbouring country has adopted a hostile stance towards us, but we have always sought to forge brotherly ties with all the neighbouring countries. In his trips to Kuwait and Oman, President Rouhani held proper consultations with the countries’ officials and managed to effectively and accurately convey the views of the Islamic Republic to them. The officials of these countries were interested in holding further talks with their Iranian counterparts, the responsibility of which was delegated to the foreign ministers.”
Asked by a Turkish journalist about the Iranian foreign ministry’s move to advise Iranian tourists against visiting Turkey over security concerns while there is no such travel notice on the crisis-hit Iraq, Larijani said, “Turkey is Iran’s neighbour and friend. However, in this special case, Turkey is different from Iraq in some aspects.”
“In Iraq, Iranian pilgrims visit safe zones, such as the central Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala, the security of which is much higher than the Turkish destinations Iranians visit. As you know, certain moves have taken place in Turkey causing a number of problems in the country. We are optimistic that the number of terrorist problems would decrease in Turkey, the country’s conditions would return to a normal state, and Tehran and Ankara continue their friendly relations.”
He stressed that Iran’s warning to its nationals is, by no means, indicative of abnormal relations between Tehran and Ankara, adding the Iranian government has to issue warnings to its people to keep them safe.
Iran expects the Turkish government to practice more prudence and tactfulness in issuing statements and adopting stances, Larijani said.
“Although Iran exercised patience, certain remarks made by the Turkish officials failed to be in proportion to the two states’ level of neighbourly ties.”
Relations with New US Government
Answering a question on the relations between Iran and the US and Tehran’s plan to give a strong response to the threats uttered by American officials and US President Donald Trump aimed at minimising Tehran’s influence in the region, the Parliament speaker said action speaks louder than words: There is a wide gap between having something in mind and expressing it publically and putting that idea into action.
“Given the conflicts it has experienced and in view of the ones still occurring in it, the Middle East has become a very tough region. Those who seek entry to it should be very careful not to come in inconsiderately with bare feet, as it will be highly costly for them.”
Nevertheless, he said, it would be highly plausible, if the US adopts a rational approach to fighting terrorism for it has suffered massive losses at the hands of terrorists.
“One of Trump’s rivals in the presidential elections, said, ‘We incurred the cost and the ISIS was formed.’ I [personally] demand them to, in case they are serious about what they say, do us a favour and annihilate the terrorist group. However, if they pursue other goals in the region, they should know that their predecessors had similar experiences in Iraq. I hope that they adopt a wise approach.”