Iran’s Foreign Ministry responded to Trump’s remarks that Tehran is sponsoring extremist groups in the Middle East with a statement saying that Trump is trying to stir up ‘Iranophobia’ to boost arms sales in the region.
“Once again, by his repetitive and baseless claims about Iran, the American president… tried to encourage the countries of the [Middle East] region to purchase more arms by spreading Iranophobia,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement.
During his first state visit to a foreign country, Trump signed an arms deal worth $110 billion with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s key enemy in the region.
The Saudis and Trump reiterated their anti-Iranian rhetoric and accused the regime in Tehran of spreading unrest and instability in the Middle East.
“From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.” Trump said, as cited by the White House press release.
Tehran responded and said that Washington was “reinvigorating terrorists in the region by its hostile policies” and “should stop selling arms to dangerous terrorists.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qassemi said the U.S. “should know that Iran is a democratic, stable and powerful country” that promotes “peace, good neighborliness, and the creation of a world opposed to violence and extremism.”
In the meantime, Tehran responded to U.S. sanctions by expanding its list of sanctions against US-linked businesses, organizations and individuals. The new sanctions will allow Tehran to seize local assets of the listed organizations and deny their employees entry to the country.
Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani was re-elected for a second term on Friday. Rouhani said Iran will continue to pursue reforms and seek dialogue with other countries.
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