Israel and Saudi Arabia are two allies that cause the most trouble and global apprehension, former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema said on Monday, calling it a mistake to follow the lead of Saudi and Israel.
D’Alema made the comments in an interview with Corriere Della Sera, or Evening Courier, an Italian daily published in Milan. It is one of the most popular Italian language news websites in the world.
The former Prime Minister called the Saudi government hostile and accused Riyadh of a knee-jerk reaction to fears of Iran’s future economic development.
With the historic nuclear accord signed by Iran and the U.S., UK, Russia, China, France (the P5) and Germany (+1) on 14 July, 2015, Iran is entitled to a reduction in sanctions which have crippled its economy for years. As long as the Islamic Republic adheres to the deal, which includes decreasing its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium, decreasing its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98% and reducing approximately two-thirds the total number of gas centrifuges for 13 years, the UNSC, US and EU will lift sanctions.
Iran has approximately $100 billion in frozen assets worldwide.
D’Alema also criticized what he called a “provocative execution” of Shia religious cleric and nonviolent activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr by the Kingdom, along with 46 other accused terrorists. The executions have sparked outcries across the Middle East, especially in Iran, and demonstrations outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran caused the Kingdom to sever diplomatic ties with Iran.
The former Prime Minster also said cited the new Saudi government’s policies in Yemen as evidence of a “hostile and worrisome point of view.”
“I knew Prince Faisal very well. He was foreign minister for 39 years,” D’Alema said, adding that the late king Abdullah had conveyed interest in the destruction of Shia Iran by an atomic bomb.
Riyadh, he claimed, has also attempted to sabotage efforts by the Islamic Republic to open relations with the West.
D’Alema was quick to point out that ISIS radicalism has roots in the Persian Gulf, especially regimes like Saudi, adding that “it should not be forgotten that the most terrorists of twin towers were among the Saudi elites.”
When asked the question as to who will defeat Daesh, the former Prime Minister answered that as long as Iran and Saudi Arabia continue their posturing and hostile relationship, Daesh will remain powerful.
He criticized the U.S. government for largely destabilizing the region, from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, especially the decision of U.S. Commander Paul Bremer to mete out Iraqi armed forces from senior offices of Saddam’s government, forces who eventually joined Daesh.
The war in Syria and parts of Iraq between ISIS militants and Bashar al-Assad’s government has been raging since 2011, and conservative estimates from the United Nations put the death toll at approximately 250,000, the majority of which are civilians.
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