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Mousavian and Prince Turki Al Faisal hot debate

Mousavian and Prince Turki Al Faisal hot debate

With tensions between regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia at the brink, a rare dialogue recently took place between two former senior Saudi and Iranian officials. Hosted by the Center for Strategic Studies at the Joint Special Operations University in Tampa, Florida, former Saudi Ambassador to the United States and Director General of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency Prince Turki al Faisal debated Hossein Mousavian, a former spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiators and chairman of the foreign policy committee of Iran’s National Security Council. The lively discussion touched on each country’s view of its security environment and the broader issues affecting the Iran-Saudi relationship. LobeLog has obtained the full transcript of the conversation, and the following is an abbreviated excerpt covering the key points.  

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Zarif: Neither Iran nor Saudis can dominate Mideast

Zarif: Neither Iran nor Saudis can dominate Mideast

Iran's foreign minister said Monday that neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can be the dominant power in the Middle East and what's needed most is for countries in the Persian Gulf region to talk to each other — not about each other.  

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Iran options after US withdrawal from the JCPOA

Iran options after US withdrawal from the JCPOA

On 22 April 2018, al-monitor.com in New York writes that the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, speaking with Al-Monitor in New York, said that if President Donald Trump withholds the next round of Iran sanctions waivers due May 12, effectively exiting the nuclear deal, Tehran could resume its nuclear program “in a much more advanced way.” 

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Iran response to Arab League anti-Iranian declaration

Iran response to Arab League anti-Iranian declaration

In a response to the closing statement issued by the Arab Summit, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Bahram Ghassemi, stressed on the Islamic Republic of Iran's permanent policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and said: “Iran expects regional countries to maintain mutual respect and non-interference in each other's affairs and stop beating the drum of alleged claims and accusations, in order to place realism, interaction, reflection, logic, dialogue, goodwill, and foresight on their priority list of policies for confidence-building, stability, and a halt to creating unnecessary concerns.”

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Iran response to MBS remarks in France

Iran response to MBS remarks in France

“Arabia’s current rulers, alongside the Zionist regime, have transformed themselves into symbols of aggression and crime in the Middle East. They are adding to the instability and crisis here with their increasing interventions in the affairs of other countries.”

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Zarif poke at Saudi milking by US

Zarif poke at Saudi milking by US

On President Trump’s recent statement that if the Saudis wish to keep a US military presence in Syria they must accept the costs, the Iranian FM, Javad Zarid, tweeted: “Meanwhile “milking” continues unabated. Confirmed today: President Trump demands additional USD 4BN from Daesh financiers to keep uninvited US troops in Syria. Anything to reverse successes against extremists and undermine Syrian national unity.”

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Macron tells Saudis France free to trade with Iran

Macron tells Saudis France free to trade with Iran

In its April 9, 2018 issue, The New Yorker writes that a few days after Donald Trump was inaugurated, Jared Kushner sat down to decide how to reshape the Middle East. During the campaign, Trump had promised a sweeping transformation of the region. Steve Bannon, Trump’s senior aide and ideologist at the time, told me recently, “Our plan was to annihilate the physical caliphate of isis in Iraq and Syria—not attrition, annihilation— to roll back the Persians, and force the Gulf states to stop funding radical Islam.”

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Ghasemi reacts to bin Salman insolence

Ghasemi reacts to bin Salman insolence

“The newly-arrived simple-mind, who speaks with his nose in the air, either does not know what war is or has not readhistory” reacted Bahram Ghasemi, the Spokesman of Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to bin Salman’s latest insolence.

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Mousavian: EU must not act as grader for military aggression against Iran

Mousavian: EU must not act as grader for military aggression against Iran

Speaking at the Brussels conference, Seyed Hossein Mousavian has stated: “Trump’s request to change the JCPOA international inspection regime is out of order, because the agreement already includes unprecedented, transparent, and regular inspections. Moreover, there are no sunset clauses in this respect in the JCPOA.”  

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Who will be the winner of a Saudi-Iran war?

Who will be the winner of a Saudi-Iran war?

A Canadian paper has published an article entitled “The signs that Iran and Saudi Arabia preparing for war”, writing “The Islamic rivals are already battling indirectly in several countries.” The Toronto Star column says: “The growing rivalry between the region’s most powerful countries — Iran and Saudi Arabia — will be what triggers the world’s next catastrophic war.” The paper writes that the main showdown in the Middle East is between Saudi Arabia and Iran over who controls the region and asks the question of who will be the winner of such a war.  

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Infantino asks for women fans in stadiums

Infantino asks for women fans in stadiums

On his trip to Iran, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, met with Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, the Minister of Sports and Youth, and the Iranian Football Federation President. German paper Die Welt, the BBC, The Daily Mail, The Guardian, and The New York Times have all covered his Iran trip and Infantino’s negotiations on two topics with Iran’s top political and sports brass.

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