Middle East Turned Into ‘Tinderbox’ by US Arm Sales – Iranian Foreign Minister

Saturday, December 8, 2018
By Paul Martin


The statement came as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani lambasted the US sanctions against Tehran as a “clear instance of economic terrorism”, aimed at hampering the Iranian economy.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has slammed the US for selling excessive amount of arms to Middle Eastern countries, which he said has turned the region into a “tinderbox.”

“The level of arms sales by the Americans is unbelievable and much beyond regional needs, and this points to the very dangerous policies followed by the Americans,” he was quoted by Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as saying.

The US remains a major arms supplier for a number of Middle Eastern counties, including Saudi Arabia, which has aggravated Washington’s already-strained relations with Iran.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump said he will not stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in early October. Trump said such a move would hurt the United States and result in large defence contracts being handed to other countries, such as China and Russia.

Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After weeks of denials, the Saudi chief prosecutor admitted that the US-based columnist had been killed inside the diplomatic mission.

‘Economic Terrorism’

Zarif’s statement came as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani hit out at what he described as “America’s unjust and illegal sanctions”, which he said “targeted the honourable nation of Iran in a clear instance of terrorism.”

“Economic terrorism is designed to create panic in the economy of a country and fear in other countries, in order to prevent investment in the target country,” he added.

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