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US arms deals will fail to make Saudi secure: Zarif

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the recent US arms deal with Saudi Arabia will fail to guarantee lasting security for Saudi Arabia as claimed by the US Department of State.

“If past performance is an indicator of future success, another $110 billion worth of weapons will neither reduce ‘the burden’ on the American military nor support ‘the long-term security of Saudi Arabia’,” Zarif said in an article in the New York Times on Friday.

He added that Saudis provided billions to the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to arm his war of aggression against Iran in the 1980s, saying, “Look what that bought them and the world.”

The foreign minister further said in the best-case scenario, the US president is “extorting our Saudi neighbors” and in the worst one, Trump “could be turning the United States into Saudi Arabia’s mercenary in the Middle East.”

“Let me be clear: What President Trump called ‘lots of beautiful military equipment’ won’t drain the swamps in which terrorism and extremist militancy fester. Neither will golden chains or glowing orbs provide a magical solution to the socioeconomic and political challenges that drive radicalization,” Zarif pointed out.

He stressed the importance of making a genuine effort to forge inclusive engagement among regional countries based on coexistence and the acceptance of futility of military approaches to regional crises.

He added that the recent crackdown on Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain indicated that the “region’s despots feel that they’ve been given carte blanche to stamp out peaceful dissent.”

The top diplomat urged responsible leaders in regional and world capitals alike to step up efforts to tackle the momentous challenges at hand in order to avoid the spread of terrorism and militant extremism.

He said at a time that Riyadh spends countless millions to promote fear of Iran to distract from its global export of Wahhabism, Iran has been aiding the victims of extremism in Iraq and Syria.

The foreign minister added that Iran is actively promoting a political solution to the conflicts in Iraq and Syria by helping to prevent Daesh Takfiri terrorists from seizing Baghdad and Damascus.

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