Iran has hit out at Saudi Arabia, saying the kingdom is broadly using Takfiri groups to advance its political agenda in the region.
“Riyadh has been using terrorism for years as an instrument to implement its political objectives,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said on Monday.
The kingdom is now using Takfiri terrorism in “a broad way” to push forward its plans, the spokesman told reporters in Tehran during his weekly news briefing.
Jaberi Ansari’s remarks came amid reports that Saudi Arabia has stepped up support for Takfiri militants in the face of the Iraqi army’s imminent liberation of Fallujah and the Syrian army’s advances in Aleppo and elsewhere.
The spokesman warned that support for terrorists and an instrumental use of Takfiris by Saudi Arabia and other countries would backfire.
“This tactical use of terrorism by regional and global players is a strategic game which will have long-term and strategic repercussions and sooner or later, these players will be targeted by terrorists.”
Takfiri groups such as Daesh and al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front are widely believed to have received weapons and funds from Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey have recently announced their readiness to launch a joint ground operation with the US inside Syria, purportedly against Daesh.
However, many observers believe none of the three countries is serious in fighting Takfiri groups as much as they are in seeing the back of the Syrian government.
Jaberi Ansari also dismissed reports that Iran and Saudi Arabia were engaged in talks to restore their diplomatic ties.
Riyadh severed relations after Tehran’s strong condemnation of the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr, which triggered angry protests in Iran and around the world.
Those protests spiraled out of control in Tehran and Mashhad where some protesters attacked Saudi missions in the two cities, giving a pretext to Riyadh to cut ties with Iran.
In his Monday remarks, Jaberi Ansari also took aim at a recent US Statement Department report which branded Iran as a “state sponsor of terrorism,” dismissing it as “invalid.”