In an attempt at countering Iran’s destabilizing activities US and Saudi Arabia will continue security co-operations in the Middle East, the White House said on Friday.
“The two parties affirmed the need to continue efforts to maintain security, prosperity and stability in the region and in particular to counter Iran’s destabilizing activities,” said a joint statement on the meeting between President Barack Obama and King Salman bin Abd al Aziz of Saudi Arabia.
“In this regard, King Salman expressed his support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action(JCPOA) between Iran and the P5+1 countries, which once fully implemented will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and thereby enhance security in the region,” Xinhua reported
“We’ll discuss the importance of effectively implementing the deal to ensure that Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, while counteracting its destabilizing activities in the region,” Obama said before the meeting.
“Our relationship is beneficial not only to our two countries, but to the entire world and to our region. And this is significant, and we must always affirm that and deepen such relations,” King Salman said.
The 79-year-old King would be paying the first official visit to the US in the month of January. According to the joint statement, the two countries also agreed on continuing military cooperation in confronting ISIL.
Steve Herman contributed to this report from the White House; Carla Babb – from the Pentagon.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani denounced the United States Tuesday as the actual “head of global terrorism,” one day after the U.S. designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization.
The move was the first time the U.S. designated part of another government as a terrorist organization.
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” President Donald Trump declared in a statement. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
The U.S. action, which takes effect next week and includes the IRGC’s elite secretive Quds Force, means it will be a federal crime to provide any type of support to the IRGC.
Rouhani said the U.S. designation would only bolster the reputation of the Revolutionary Guards and promote harmony among Iranians.
“This mistake will unite Iranians and the Guards will grow more popular in Iran and in the region,” Rouhani said. “America has used terrorists as a tool in the region while the Guards have fought against them from Iraq to Syria.”
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addressed a group of guards Tuesday, describing the U.S. action as a “vicious move” that “will bear no fruit.” After Iran’s legislature convened for an open session in Tehran Tuesday, lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted, “Death to America.”
Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani criticized the U.S. decision as the “climax of stupidity and ignorance.” Supreme National Security Council spokesman Keivan Khosravi warned without elaborating that “any unusual move by American forces in the region will be perceived as the behavior by a terrorist group.”
China, an economic partner of Iran, urged countries outside the Middle East to promote peace and stability in the region and to avoid any acts of aggression.
“We oppose power politics and bullying by any countries,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said.
Minutes after the announcement from the White House on the designation Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated the IRGC “organizes and executes terror campaigns around the world.”
U.S. officials, in comments to reporters, are also referring to the IRGC as a “death cult” that, they say, is the true face of Iranian foreign policy.
Pompeo declined to say, when asked by a reporter, whether the terrorist designation means that the U.S. military will target IRGC leaders the same way it does those of the Islamic State group. Iran responded Monday to the U.S. action by putting U.S. military forces on its list of terror groups. (VOA)