Iran hits back hard at Saudi Arabia over terrorism allegations

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Iran hits back hard at Saudi Arabia over terrorism allegations

TEHRAN - Iran on Wednesday hit back at Saudi accusations that Tehran provides “support for terrorism”, pointing at alleged links between Riyadh and militant groups such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS).

Countries in the region “will never forget the role played by Saudi Arabia in conspiring for, supporting and arming violent terrorists and extremists such as Al-Qaeda and Daesh (IS) and other similar groups,” Iran's foreign ministry said.

It also singled out Saudi support for Iraq's fallen dictator Saddam Hussein in his 1980-1988 war against Iran, its military intervention in Yemen since 2015 and its apparent rapprochement with Israel.

Iran, a bitter regional rival of Saudi Arabia with which diplomatic ties were cut in 2016, was responding to the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who on Tuesday referred to Tehran's “support for terrorism” during a visit to Paris.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar in June, accusing the tiny but super-rich Gulf state of supporting militant groups and forging close ties with Iran.

The prince described Iran, Turkey, and militant groups as the “contemporary triangle of evil.” He said Saudi Arabia was seeking to end the close relations between Iran on the one hand and Russia and Syria on the other.