White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that even though the countries in the region complied to President Donald Trump’s demand to fight terror funding and extremism, which essentially led to the isolation of Qatar that is responsible to both crimes, the United States is still interested in deescalating the situation and restore regional cooperation that is important for security.
“This issue is not new. It’s been — there’s been tension among Qatar’s neighbors for quite some time. And the situation was notified through proper diplomatic channels. The United States continues to be in close communication with all the parties to resolve the issues and restore cooperation which is so important to regional security there. I think there is note that his message of toughness on terror finance and extremism is being heeded by countries in the region. But the U.S. still wants to see this issue deescalated and resolved immediately, keeping with the principles that the president laid out in terms of defeating terror financing and extremism,” said Spicer.
Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir, who is currently visiting Paris, declared that unless Qatar changes its policies, the isolation will continue. “We want to see Qatar implement the promises it made a few years back with regard to its support for extremist groups, with regards to its hostile media, with regards to its interference in the affairs of other countries. And we have taken this step with great pain in order to make sure that Qatar understands that these policies are not acceptable and not sustainable and that they must change,” said al-Jubeir.
With regard to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Saudi top diplomat warned that Tehran aspires to restore the Persian Empire, and is using methods of death and destruction to try and attain their goal. “We made it clear to everybody that Iran is a force for instability, Iran is a force for chaos, Iran is a force for death and destruction, that Iran’s policies have fueled sectarianism in the Middle East, that Iran’s desire to restore what they call the Persian empire means dominating countries in the Middle East and expanding in the Middle East and that those policies are not acceptable, that Iran’s support for terrorism cannot stand. That is why Iran is designated as the number one sponsor of terrorism in the world. We believe that any dealings with Iran or any proximity with Iran will have very negative consequences,” said al-Jubeir.
The comments by Foreign Minister al Jubeir came just one day after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack against the Iranian Parliament in Tehran, where 12 people were killed, an attack Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard blamed on Saudi Arabia.