USA pushes Riyadh to confront Tehran, stirs crisis
02 May 2018, 01:34 | Isaac Mcdaniel
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The US is seeking a way to evade the costs of standing against Iran and place them on regional countries, Ayatollah Khamenei said, reminding certain regional countries that if they confront Iran, "they will definitely suffer blows and defeat".
"What the US secretary of state has said about the Islamic Republic of Iran's role and presence in some regional countries is a repetition of empty and baseless claims", Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by state media outlet PressTV.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who met Saudi King Salman in Riyadh on a flying visit to the region, said on Sunday that the United States was deeply concerned by Iran's "destabilising and malign activities" in the Middle East. "We've got a common challenge in Iran I think they all recognize that".
Khamenei charged that the United States is now focused on an economic and cultural war against Iran and that the US Treasury, which oversees sanctions, is now America's "war room".
"Americans are trying to provoke Saudi Arabia against Tehran".
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Khamenei also addressed the current rivalry with Saudi Arabia, which he accused of being encouraged by the United States.
Qassemi maintained that Iran's support was based on "requests of their legitimate governments and in line with fighting terrorism in the region".
According to Khamenei, Iran is engaging in an "economic and cultural" confrontation with the United States, claiming that the Treasury Department was leading the war against Iran, in a tacit reference to the possibility of imposing new global sanctions if Washington withdrew from the nuclear deal.
He added that the presence of USA troops in the region is a source of insecurity and violence. U.S. President Donald Trump has strongly backed Saudi Arabia in its efforts to counter Iran's influence. In exchange, Iran received relief from sanctions, most of which were lifted in January 2016.
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