Iran urges Gulf peace mechanism, says Saudi Arabia backing militants

Trump's Middle East doctrine

Trump's Middle East doctrine

"We have intelligence that Saudi Arabia is actively engaged in promoting terrorist groups on the eastern side of Iran, in Baluchistan", Zarif told a news conference held on the sidelines of a conference on peace mediation in Oslo.

One day prior to the terrorist attacks in Tehran, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Iran had to be "punished" for what he called "its interference in the region".

Two days later, the suicide bombings and shootings in Tehran killed 17 people.

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"America is a terrorist country and backs terrorism... therefore, we can not normalize ties with such a country", Khamenei said.

Sending a tough message to Tehran shortly after pragmatist Hassan Rouhani was re-elected president, Trump urged Arab leaders to unite to defeat militants, and said Iran had for decades "fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terrors".

Iraqi government forces flash the sign for victory while holding a Daesh flag in western Mosul's Zanjili neighbourhood on June 9, 2017, during ongoing battles to try to take the city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters. Trump's choice of Saudi Arabia, Iran's bitter regional rival, for his first official foreign visit reflects the deep antagonism of his administration towards Iran.

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Baluchistan province is home to a Sunni population who form a minority in majority Shia Iran.

Iran and Saudi Arabia accuse each other of subverting regional security and support opposite sides in conflicts including those in Syria, Yemen and Iraq. They have problems with the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei also broached the subject of the US's increased saber-rattling and further sanctions following Iran's recent presidential election.

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He said in May during a visit to Israel: "The United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon - never, ever - and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias, and it must cease immediately". On Friday, however, he turned his wrath for the attacks on the United States and Saudi Arabia.

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