Iran has reminded President Trump that Saudi Arabia helped orchestrate the 9/11 attacks during his official visit to the Kingdom this week.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, issued a letter to Mr. Trump, urging him to ask his Saudi hosts how he can stop them from “attacking the US again.”
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According to the official 9/11 investigation, 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were Saudi nationals. Saudi Arabia faces a $6 billion lawsuit from families of 9/11 victims over their role in committing the attacks.
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Express.co.uk reports: Writing for the London-based website of Al Araby Al-Jadeed news network, Mr Zarif said: “(Trump) must enter into dialogue with them about ways to prevent terrorists and takfiris from continuing to fuel the fire in the region and repeating the likes of the September 11 incident by their sponsors in Western countries.”
At a campaign event last February, Mr Trump himself suggested to supporters that the kingdom may be behind the attacks.
He said: “You will find out who really knocked down the World Trade Center because they have papers out there that are very secret. You may find it’s the Saudis, okay, but you will find out.”
But since his election, Mr Trump has put an end to his sharp commentary in public and on his Twitter account about the key US ally and the world’s top oil exporter.
Separately, a senior Iranian military official rejected a call by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for newly re- elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to end Tehran’s ballistic missile programme and what he called its “network of terrorism”.
Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, said Tillerson’s remarks “reflected ignorance about Iran”, the state news agency IRNA reported.
He said: “Iran’s defence policies and aims follow a set trend that cannot be affected by any element.”
Iran’s hardline-led security and military bodies operate separately to the presidency and are close to the country’s ultimate authority – Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Speaking at a news conference in Riyadh on Saturday, Tillerson also said: “I’m not going to comment on my expectation. But we hope that if Rouhani wanted to change Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world those are the things that he could do.”
On the second day of his visit to Riyadh, the president is set to deliver an appeal to leaders from across the Arab and Muslim world to unite against the common threat posed by Islamist militants.