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Rouhani Defends Attack on Riyadh

Rouhani Defends Attack on Riyadh

Thursday, 9 November, 2017 - 06:00
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gestures during a televised speech in the capital Tehran on May 20, 2017. AFP Photo

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani defended on Wednesday the Houthi insurgents’ weekend ballistic missile that was intercepted by Saudi Arabia’s air defenses and brought down near Riyadh airport without causing any casualties.

During a government meeting in Tehran, Rouhani said that Houthis have no other option but to use weapons in confronting the Arab coalition in Yemen.

The Iranian president also defended his country’s intervention in regional affairs by claiming that Tehran wants the welfare and development of Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Meanwhile, a US State Department spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Wherever Iran is present, there is chaos, and we can see the Iranian hand in Syria and Yemen.”

The US official said that the administration in Washington is currently implementing a comprehensive strategy to confront the Iranian regime.

The spokesperson also stressed that the US maintains excellent relations with Gulf countries.

On Wednesday morning, the White House had issued a statement condemning the missile attack by Houthis, saying they threatened the region’s security and undermined the UN-sponsored efforts to halt the conflict.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the attack too.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that France's Foreign Ministry said it was taking accusations by the US that Iran had violated two UN Security Council resolutions seriously and urged Iran to comply with all of its international commitments.

In a related development, Iran's judiciary has suspended publication of the official Kayhan newspaper for two days over a provocative front-page story saying Houthis will next target Dubai.

The Judicial decision is an attempt to lessen the international embarrassment caused by the headline while the Iranian president insists that his country would continue to play its role in the region.

Iran's official news agency, IRNA, said that the prosecutor's suspension order came following a complaint by the secretariat of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, which had said that Kayhan's headline opposed Iran's regional and security policies.

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