Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif accuses Saudi Arabia of 9/11 attacks, arming Islamic State group

Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif accuses Saudi Arabia of 9/11 attacks, arming Islamic State group
The Iranian foreign minister had just hours earlier said Iran was 'ready for dialogue' with Saudi Arabia.
2 min read
31 July, 2019
Saudi Arabia, he said, had killed '3000+ Americans' [Getty]

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on Wednesday accused Saudi Arabia of perpetrating the 11 September 2001 attacks, just hours after he told the world that Iran was "ready for dialogue" with the kingdom.

He also accused the controversial kingdom of arming the extremist Islamic State group.

"If Saudi Arabia is ready for dialogue, we are always ready for dialogue with our neighbours," he said earlier on Wednesday, according to the IRIB news agency.

"We have never closed the door to dialogue with our neighbours and we will never close the door to dialogue with our neighbours."

Just hours later, Zarif lashed out at Saudi Arabia, accusing the country of having been responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

"Kill 3,000+ Americans but remain a US client and you can have nuclear weapons - even get help in acquiring them," the foreign minister said in a tweet.

Attached to the tweet was a video of US National Security Advisor John Bolton - the Trump administration's most strident Iran hawk - discussing the United States' withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal last year.

While Saudi Arabia does not have a nuclear weapons programme, but does plan to develop at least two nuclear plants in the future.

Several Trump insiders have publicly advocated for the US to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. A bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate on Tuesday aims to curb such transfers.

While President Donald Trump has remained a firm ally of Saudi Arabia - refusing to condemn the kingdom over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and blocking congressional attempts to ban US arms sales to the country - the former businessman has devoted much of his presidency to attacking Iran.

After withdrawing from the nuclear deal last year, Trump reinforced sanctions on the Islamic Republic in an attempt to force Iran back to the negotiating table for a tougher and more favourable deal for the US.

"But refuse to bow to #B_Team's whims, you can't even possess peaceful nuclear energy," Zarif added in the Wednesday tweet.

"It apparently matters not that "Iran is killing ISIS” while US' clients arm it," he added, accusing Saudi Arabia of arming the extremist group.