Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mostafa Izadi said on Sunday the country has evidence that Washington is providing direct support to ISIS.
That statement comes after two terrorist attacks hit Tehran last week. Both were claimed by ISIS, but Iran says they were only possible because of Saudi and US support for the terrorist group.
Riyadh and Washington denied any links to the attacks.
RT: It is a major blame game now between Iran and the US as they accuse each other of supporting terrorism. What could it lead to? Could it mean a bigger rift between the countries than now? What impact could it have on the Gulf region?
Shabbir Hassanally: America has constantly been blaming Iran for ‘supporting terrorism’ because Iran has supported the resistance bloc from the beginning. America has constantly been saying this, it has constantly applied sanctions on it. From Iran’s side, being the victim even after Iran signed and worked with the international community on JCPOA: JCPOA was signed and immediately Iran is sanctioned. And just a couple of days ago, there were new sanctions placed on Iran. This blame game is not really new. America keeps on pushing and pushing and Iran has no choice. It has to resist. It has to defend itself. I think there is definitely an escalation going on especially after Mr Trump came along and did this enormous weapons deal with the Saudi family. And during his speech, just around the time of that deal, at the Riyadh summit, he pointed the finger squarely at Iran. Again, not surprising but somewhat infantile, if you like, of Trump and of America to keep pointing the finger at Iran when actually everyone knows that it is Riyadh that is behind groups like ISIS and behind the actual ideology. The ideology of Riyadh is an ideology that doesn’t give anyone, any women any rights, any men for that matter, who have an opinion different to the ruling family…
Riyadh… is a founder and father and the parent of terrorism. And Iran has been resisting – along with Russia and Syria, with the Iraqi Army and the popular resistance forces in Iraq and Syria – and they are making headway. But of course, Riyadh is on the back foot. And it needs America to come along and using its vast reserve of petrodollars and all of the oil it has stolen from the people of Arabia… In terms of the tension increasing, I think it sets a stage where it is almost plateaued and it is going to continue and someone in the American administration needs to get a grip and realise that they are on the wrong side of history.
RT: This situation around Qatar, the US and Iran are on opposite sides again. How could this destabilise the situation in the region?
SH: I think that the Qatar situation is a complicated one. You have essentially what is a feud between Doha and Riyadh, where there are differing opinions, but Riyadh needs to provide a scapegoat, and the Trump administration needs to provide a scapegoat for terrorism. It can’t, obviously, after having done this enormous weapons deal with Saudis, Trump can’t turn around and say, “Saudis are the main sponsors of terrorism.” It can’t keep saying Iran because Iran has all the sanctions. They need a bogeyman, they need a fall guy. And because there has been a long-going feud for influence between Qatar and Saudi and the fact that Qatar doesn’t want to break diplomatic relations with Iran, because they share a massive gas field, it should be noted that at the same time Qatar shares a massive oil field with Saudi, but it shares an absolutely monumental gas field with Iran…
- This interview was conducted with Russia Today