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24 Apr, 2019 12:01

Saudi Arabia, Qatar & UAE owe their existence to Iran – Rouhani

Saudi Arabia, Qatar & UAE owe their existence to Iran – Rouhani

Saudi Arabia alongside the UAE and Qatar would not exist today had Iran supported Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s plans to occupy these states, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has claimed.

“Had it not been for Iran’s rational decision back then not to cooperate with Saddam, there would have been no trace of these countries today,” Rouhani said on Wednesday.

They owe their existence today to Iran.

Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring Kuwait in 1990 but was expelled several months later by the US-led coalition during the Gulf War.

According to Rouhani, Hussein “repeatedly sent requests and messages,” saying that Iraq and Iran will be sharing a 800 kilometer (497 miles) border in the Persian Gulf.

“This shows that Saddam was seeking to occupy Saudi Arabia, Oman, the Emirates, and Qatar in addition to Kuwait,” the Iranian president said, adding that Hussein offered “cooperation” in these endeavors.

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Tehran had declined Saddam’s proposal and was among the first to condemn his attack on Kuwait, Rouhani stated, stressing that by doing so Tehran “saved” Riyadh along with other Gulf nations.

An important ally of Washington and a major buyer of US-made arms, Saudi Arabia is one of Iran’s chief rivals in the region. Riyadh says Iran threatens its security by waging a ‘proxy war’ in Yemen, and supplying missiles which are launched by rebels into Saudi Arabia.

Iran denies all allegations and accuses the Saudis of committing war crimes during its years-long bombing campaign in Yemen.

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