Adel Al Jubeir slams worldwide 'rampage' by Iran and its proxies

Saudi Minister of State urges Iran to act like a normal nation and not revolution

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir gives a press conference in the capital Riyadh on August 8, 2018. (Photo by Nasser al-Harbi / AFP)
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Iran must stop its “rampage” across the world and behave like a normal country following international laws if it wants to be welcomed, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said on Monday.

Adel Al Jubeir said the regime's export of its revolution was unacceptable, as he detailed the crimes carried out in recent decades by Iranian proxies in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Mr Al Jubeir said there was compelling evidence that the September attacks on Saudi oil installations were with Iranian-made missiles.

“Iran does not respect international laws," he told an audience at London's Chatham House. "Iran does not respect the principle of non-interference in the affairs of other countries.

"Iran, since the Iranian revolution, has been on a rampage.

“What does Iran need to do? Very simple – act like a normal country. Stop this murderous, aggressive behaviour and people will judge you by your actions, not by your words."

Mr Al Jubeir slammed links between Al Qaeda and Iran, and Tehran for hosting the “virtual board of directors” of the terrorist group.

He insisted Saudi Arabia respected Iran’s people and culture and had for tried four decades to extend a hand of friendship.

But he said the regime could not expect to be welcomed if its aggression continued.

“The Iranians have to decide if they’re a revolution, which means you cannot deal with them, or they’re a nation state, which means they are a rational actor who abides by international norms and principles," Mr Al Jubeir said.

"We wish they would choose to be the latter and this is how the world will open up.”

In September, Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for attacks on two Saudi Aramco installations, which were condemned internationally.

Mr Al Jubeir said Saudi Arabia wanted to determine “beyond a shadow of a doubt” from where the missiles were launched.

But he said they had come from north of the oil plants, not south from Yemen.

“We don’t want war," Mr Al Jubeir said. "We’ve said all along we don’t want war because war is devastating to the whole region.

"But we cant just sit there and be attacked constantly and indiscriminately by the Iranians or their proxies.”

He said the 2015 deal signed between Tehran and world powers to limit Iran’s nuclear capabilities was flawed.

Mr Al Jubeir said the deal did not address the regime's support for its proxies or its ballistic missiles programme.

Saudi Arabia supported a political solution to the Yemeni conflict but he said it had no choice but to support the Yemen government to stop the country falling into the hands of “radical” groups as the Houthi rebels made their advances.

Mr Al Jubeir also condemned criticism of the Saudi-led coalition's actions in Yemen, saying criticism of those involved in the conflict was not balanced.

Saudi Arabia wanted regional stability so it could focus on internal matters and support the hopes and ambitions of the kingdom’s young people, he said.