DUBAI May 21 Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad
Javad Zarif, advised U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss how
to avoid another September 11 attack with the Saudi hosts of his
first official visit abroad, Zarif wrote in an editorial
published on Sunday.
Tehran and Riyadh are regional arch-rivals who accuse each
other of sponsoring fundamentalist militias aligned to their
competing sects of Islam in warzones across the Middle East.
Critics of Saudi Arabia say its strict view of Islam fuels
Sunni extremism, called takfir, and some even accuse the kingdom
of responsibility for the September 11 attacks.
Saudi Arabia denies providing any support for the 19
hijackers - most of whom were Saudi citizens - who killed nearly
3,000 people in 2001.
"(Trump) must enter into dialogue with them about ways to
prevent terrorists and takfiris from continuing to fuel the fire
in the region and repeating the likes of the September 11
incident by their sponsors in Western countries," Zarif wrote
for the website of the London-based Al Araby Al-Jadeed news
At a campaign event last February, Trump himself suggested
to supporters that the kingdom may be behind the attacks.
"You will find out who really knocked down the World Trade
Center because they have papers out there that are very secret.
You may find it's the Saudis, okay, but you will find out."
But since his election, Trump has put an end to his sharp
commentary in public and on his twitter account about the key
U.S. ally and the world's top oil exporter.
On the second day of his visit to Riyadh, the president is
set to deliver an appeal to leaders from across the Arab and
Muslim world to unite against the common threat posed by
(Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)