Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has hit back at Saudi criticism, declaring that the US and Riyadh have sponsored the Islamic State and Tehran defeated it.
Speaking at a panel in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jubeir said:
In the Middle East, we have two competing visions. Vision of light…and we have a vision of darkness, and the vision of darkness is sectarianism. [Iran] is trying to restore an empire that was destroyed thousands of years ago, it’s using sectarianism and terrorism in order to interfere in the affairs of other countries.
Zarif (pictured) countered on Twitter:
No amount of 'alternative facts' by Trump & Co’s echo chamber, 'vision of light' spin by KSA, or credit-grabbing by the US for defeat of ISIS will change the facts that:
1. It was Iran who helped the people of Iraq & Syria defeat ISIS, and
2. It was the US and KSA who armed it.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 25, 2018
The Iranian Foreign Minister was supposed to attend Davos but cancelled at the last minute. Iranian officials said that Zarif needed to remain in Tehran to oversee staff changes and restructuring at the Foreign Ministry.
Saudi Arabia broke relations with Iran in early 2016 after a crowd in Tehran, reacting to Riyadh’s execution of a prominent Shia cleric, attacked and burned the Saudi Embassy.
The two countries are on opposite sides in a series of conflicts in the Middle East, including the Syrian and Yemeni civil wars and Riyadh’s support of the Bahraini monarchy.