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Saudi minister denies his country involved in Iran attacks
June 7, 2017 / 6:28 PM / 6 months ago

Saudi minister denies his country involved in Iran attacks

BERLIN (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister rejected an accusation by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards that his country was behind twin attacks in Tehran on Wednesday that killed at least 12 people.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir speaks during a news conference after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia, August 11, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the parliament building and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in the Iranian capital. . Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament.

Speaking in Berlin, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said there was no evidence to implicate Saudi Arabia in the attacks in Tehran, which is Riyadh’s arch regional rival.

“We condemn terrorist attacks anywhere they occur and we condemn the killing of the innocent anywhere it occurs,” Jubeir told an event hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the think- tank of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

He said Riyadh had no knowledge of who was responsible for the attacks, and denied that Saudi groups were behind it.

“We don’t know this. We haven’t seen the evidence,” he said, repeating Riyadh’s longstanding view that Iran is the primary sponsor of terrorism around the world.

Jubeir said Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries would be willing to reestablish normal ties with Iran if it changed its behaviour and stopped supporting militants and fighters in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere across the region.

On Monday Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and closed their airspace to commercial flights, accusing Doha of funding militant groups and backing Iran in the region.

Jubeir said on Wednesday there was no specific trigger for the decision to cut ties with Qatar, but said there was a long list of grievances.

He declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the Doha-based news channel, but added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal, writing by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Gareth Jones

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