Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran is willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia in order to build a strong Middle East after US President Donald Trump said the Saudi king wouldn’t stay in power for two weeks without US support.
Zarif called Trump’s words about the importance of the US support for Saudi “humiliating” in a Thursday Twitter post and said that national security cannot be outsourced. “We again extend our hand to our neighbors: let’s build a ‘strong region’, and stop this conceit,” Zarif tweeted.
Zarif’s comment came after the US president said during a rally in Southaven, Mississippi, that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman wouldn’t stay in power “for two weeks” without the US and that the kingdom needs to shell out more for US protection.
“We protect Saudi Arabia … And I love the king, King Salman. But I said, ‘King, we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us; you have to pay for your military,’” Trump said to his supporters, reported Reuters. The US president didn’t specify when exactly he said this to the Saudi king.
“I said, king, you have got trillions of dollars. Without us, who knows what’s going to happen? […] With us they are totally safe. But we don’t get what we should be getting,” he added, cited by PressTV.
Trump’s remarks about Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter and one of the leading OPEC countries, followed his criticism of OPEC member states in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September. The US president blamed OPEC for high oil prices.
“We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices; we want them to start lowering prices,” Trump said.