Iran dismisses Saudi talk of 'triangle of evil' as 'childish'
Iran’s Foreign Ministry accused Saudi Arabia of making accusations against Iran to hide its own failures in Yemen.
The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS
Al-Monitor Staff
TOPICS COVERED
GCC Relations
March 8, 2018
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has called the recent comments by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about Iran, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood “childish,” and has instead invited him to Iran for a multisided dialogue.
During his first trip to Egypt since becoming crown prince, the Saudi leader — speaking to Egyptian media and borrowing from President George W. Bush’s infamous “Axis of Evil” State of the Union Speech — described Iran, Turkey and Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood this week as being part of a “triangle of evil.” Bush had included Iran, Iraq and North Korea in the axis in his 2002 speech, which helped pave the way for the 2003 Iraq invasion, one of the most disastrous and deadly US foreign policy actions.
While the Saudi Embassy in Ankara denied that the crown prince included Turkey in the “triangle of evil,” according to Egyptian media, the prince said Saudi Arabia believes Turkey is trying to revive the Ottoman Empire. According to Iranian media, the crown prince referred to Iran as a “paper tiger” in an interview with an Egyptian newspaper.
During a press conference, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said, “It is not a point of pride for someone who claims to be a politician and a Muslim leader to express incoherent words and imitate the speeches of dated politicians who unilaterally pushed the world toward destruction.” He said the crown prince “knows best himself who has fought against ISIS [Islamic State], violence and extremism.”
Ghassemi said "one must not be surprised” by such comments from some Saudi officials. He added, “One should not expect more from someone who has failed to understand the new world and region and is at the same time consumed by vile tribal ignorance and prejudices and uses derogatory, incorrect and childish language.” Ghassemi said small-minded individuals "imagine that in order to be seen [they must] resort to untrue, deceitful and hostile speech.”
In a reference to the arms purchases by Saudi Arabia from the United States and the United Kingdom, Ghassemi accused the Saudis of purchasing their security and being unable to rely on their own domestic capacities to ensure it. He said, “When security is purchased, history has shown that it will be used against itself.” Ghassemi said Saudi Arabia, having spread instability and extremism and stuck in a quagmire in Yemen, “has no choice but to resort to lying and relying on foreign powers and purchasing arms.”
In references to Saudi support for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, Ghassemi said Saudi Arabia is now trying to “erase its dark past with the use of words and dollars.” He said that rather than throwing around “useless and baseless words,” Saudi Arabia should engage in an inclusive dialogue on regional stability and security.
Ghassemi also again denied that Iran has any involvement in the war in Yemen, adding that the Saudis' accusations about Iran’s involvement are only to “compensate for their invasion and slaughter.”
MORE FROM AL-MONITOR STAFF
Press watchdog calls on Israel to avoid harming journalists in Gaza
Al-Monitor Staff | Israel | May 14, 2021
Seven Palestinians killed in West Bank as violence spreads
Al-Monitor Staff | News Brief | May 14, 2021
Erdogan: Turkey won't 'remain silent' over Israeli strikes in Gaza
Al-Monitor Staff | Turkey | May 14, 2021
POPULAR ARTICLES
Turkey’s reaction to Biden’s recognition of Armenian genocide more bark than bite for now
Al-Monitor Staff | Turkey | Apr 24, 2021
Fighting between Syria's Kurdish forces, pro-Assad militia enters fourth day
Jared Szuba | Syria | Apr 23, 2021
Erdogan furious as his Islamic ambitions stumble in Turkish Cyprus
Fehim Tastekin | Turkey | Apr 23, 2021
Syrian missile exposes Israel’s fragility
Ben Caspit | Israel | Apr 23, 2021
A tale of two elections: Netanyahu, Abbas face the abyss
Week in Review | Israel | Apr 22, 2021
RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
Iran confirms talks with rival Saudi Arabia
Al-Monitor Staff | Saudi Arabia | May 10, 2021
Erdogan’s reset with Egypt and the Gulf won’t be smooth
Week in Review | Turkey | May 8, 2021
Saudi Arabia to require all workers get vaccinated
Al-Monitor Staff | Saudi Arabia | May 7, 2021
Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief meets with Syrian counterpart in Damascus
Al-Monitor Staff | Saudi Arabia | May 5, 2021
RECENT PODCASTS
Ebtesam Al-Ketbi discusses the Israeli-Palestinian Crisis, the Abraham Accords, the Iran talks, UAE diplomacy in the Horn of Africa, and more
Jerusalem and West Bank unrest generated by Netanyahu’s policies, says Eran Etzion 
Gaza preparing for escalation between Israel and Hamas over Jerusalem, says Hana Salah
Professor Chuck Freilich explains the failures that led to stampede at Mount Meron 
Middle East Scholar Arzu Yilmaz says limits of Turkish military activity in Iraq are mostly set by Iran
NEWSLETTERS
Subscribe
© 2021 Al-Monitor, LLC. All rights reserved.