Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif outlined Iranian foreign and military priorities in an interview with CBS Sunday.
“You see, we are operating in our own region. That’s why it’s called the Persian Gulf, not the Gulf of Mexico. We are operating in our own region. We are a force for stability in our region. History shows that”, Zarif said.
Talking to “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan, Zarif contrasted Iranian conduct with that of the US, who operates far from its shores.
“The United States is operating far from its shores, in our region”, he said.
According to Zarif, Iran’s military goal is fighting terrorism in the region.
“We have been helpful everywhere. We have fought terrorism in Syria. We have fought terrorism in Iraq”, he said.
Zarif reminded Brennan that he had attended a ceremony commemorating Iranian fighters who died fighting ISIL (Daesh) Takfiri group in Iraq, noting that both the Iranian president and PM sent letters to the event.
“Everybody recognizes the role of Iran in bringing stability. I haven’t seen them commemorating any martyrs from Saudi Arabia fighting Daesh, or [from the] UAE”, he said.
He criticized US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who, testifying before Congress earlier in April, said that “there is no doubt there is a connection between the Islamic Republic of Iran and al-Qaeda — period, full stop”.
“He’s wrong because [the US] have aligned themselves with the wrong people in our region. And they cannot accept that they’re suffering defeat because they simply chose the wrong side”, he said, asserting that Saudi Arabia and the UAE — both US allies — are the ones responsible for creating terrorist threats in the Middle East.
“Their allies, their clients — Saudi Arabia and the UAE — have spent billions upon billions of dollars trying to create unrest, trying to support terrorist organizations, even in areas [in which] we are not present, like in North Africa”, Zarif said.