Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and US President Donald Trump sharpened their rhetoric against Iran on Sunday, accusing it of spearheading global terror and calling for the Islamic Republic to be shunned.
Delivering a landmark speech to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, Trump on Sunday called for international isolation of Iran, which he accused of fueling “sectarian conflict and terror.”
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms and trains terrorists, militias and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region,” Trump said.
“Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate it… and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they so richly deserve.”
The Iranian people have “endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror,” he added, saying Iranians were the region’s longest suffering victims.
Trump said Syrian President Bashar Assad had committed “unspeakable crimes” bolstered by Iran, calling upon countries around the world to work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Speaking before Trump, Salman also lashed out at the regional rival, accusing Tehran of exporting extremist Islamic movements around the world.
“The Iranian regime has been the spearhead of global terrorism since the (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini revolution” in 1979, King Salman said in the speech.
“We did not know terrorism and extremism until the Khomeini revolution reared its head,” he said.
The United States and Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced an arms deal worth almost $110 billion, described as the largest in US history.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the deal was aimed at countering “malign Iranian influence.”
On Friday, Iranian reformers swept national elections, giving Hassan Rouhani, seen as a relative moderate open to increased engagement with the West, a second term as president.