Zarif: Tehran knew about Saudi plans to assassinate senior Iranian officials
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Tehran knew about Saudi Arabia’s plans to assassinate top Iranian officials, in particular one of IRGC's top commanders, Major General Qassem Soleimani.
The interview, will be published in full on Tuesday.
His comments came after a Sunday report by The New York Times, revealing a March 2017 meeting in Riyadh to assassinate Iranian officials, namely Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani.
The meeting brought together businessmen that also “pitched a $2 billion plan to use private intelligence operatives to sabotage the Iranian economy,” read the Times report released.
As the meeting came at a time that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was consolidating his power in the kingdom, the report concluded that planning for assassinations, like that of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, started “since the beginning of Prince Mohammed’s ascent.”
Zarif further exemplified other atrocities by the Saudi government, including support for terrorism, attacking Yemen as well as blockading Qatar and kidnapping Lebanese Prime minister Saad Hariri.
"All the world has opened its eyes to what Riyadh is doing such as blockading Qatar, bombing Yemen, detaining the prime minister of Lebanon and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi," Zarif said.
This is while the US has emerged as a passionate supporter of the monarchy ever since US President Donald Trump appeared in office.
US President Donald Trump also withdrew Washington from the nuclear agreement in May and reintroduced sanctions on Iran in August. The second wave of sanctions, which targets Iran’s oil exports and central bank, is due to start in early November.
-All reimposed US sanctions violate UN Security Council Res 2231.
-Intention to starve civilian population is crime against humanity.
-ICJ already refuted @SecPompeo's claim on humanitarian exemptions.
-Western media's factual accounts & attached letters show who's lying. pic.twitter.com/dFEziLsvOM
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) 12 November 2018
The Trump administration announced the sanctions on November 5 to target Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off its' oil sales and crucial exports.
Despite US President Donald Trump's hostile policy towards the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on October 6, that the EU should remain strong on its' commitment to the historic Iran nuclear deal.
On November 10, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that US sanctions announced last week have had no impact on the country's economy because Washington had already practically re-imposed them earlier.