The Iranian regime accused Saudi Arabia of backing terrorism on Sunday, mere hours after Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal expressed support for the anti-Iranian regime opposition movement, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), during a rally in Paris.
“The Saudis are resorting to well-known terrorists … as they have also done in Iraq, Yemen and Syria,” an unnamed Iranian Foreign Ministry source was quoted as saying, according to Reuters. “This shows that they use terrorism and terrorists to further their aims against regional Islamic countries,” the source continued.
Iran has accused Saudi Arabia of backing the Islamic State (also known by the Arabic-language derisive acronym Daesh) and other militant groups in the region.
Also on Sunday, the Iranian regime issued a response to Faisal’s comments and appearance at the rally, referring to the decision as “political impudence and stupidity” on his behalf. ABC News notes that the Iranian regime also alluded to “longstanding ties” between Saudi Arabia and MEK (Mujahedin-e-Khalq or the People’s Mujahedin of Iran) while accusing Saudi Arabia of giving “support to terrorism in the region and beyond” and accused the Sunni nation of sponsoring terrorism.
Last month, the State Department released a report labeling the Islamic Republic of Iran as the world’s “leading state-sponsor of terrorism.”
The NCRI was established in France in 1981 and is currently in exile as part of the Iranian resistance. Its president-elect is Maryam Rajavi. The group denounced violence in 2001 and consists of a coalition of approximately five other Iranian opposition organizations, the largest of which includes the MEK, which was established in 1965 in Iran by a group of far-left Muslim Iranian university students to remove the Shah from his post.
MEK revealed the Iranian regime’s nuclear program in 2002. The European Union, Canada, and the United States listed it as a terrorist organization, but the Council of the European Union lifted that designation in 2009, followed by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012, and the Canadian government later that same year.
According to Al Monitor’s Arash Karami, Ramazan Sharif, the head of public relations for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said the presence of Faisal “shows the longstanding link” between Saudi Arabia and the MEK. Furthermore, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, former deputy foreign minister for Arab and African Affairs, also reacted to Faisal’s comments in support of the NCRI’s mission to overthrow and replace the Islamic Republic of Iran: “These statements confirm that Saudi Arabia’s widespread financial and security support for terrorism has always been the agenda of Riyadh.”
During Sunday’s rally, Prince Faisal, a member of the Saudi royal family and a former intel chief for the kingdom, said, “We support you, we are with you” to the sea of more than 100,000 people who had gathered at the Le Bourget convention center. “We stand by your side to help you reach your goals,” he added, indicating his hope to see the fall of the Shiite-backed Iranian regime, his Sunni nation’s archenemy.
Saudi Arabia is itself an absolute monarchy.
The prince also directly praised Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of NCRI. “Your aim to rid your people of the cancer that is Khomeini is an historic epic and, like the Shahnameh, it will remain inscribed [in] the annals of History,” Faisal said. “I, too, want the fall of the regime.”
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