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Iran Reacts Harshly To Saudi King's Speech at UN

Iran -- Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi, undated.

Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations and its spokesman for the Foreign Ministry joined voices to dismiss Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz's recent accusations against Iran as a "blame game" aimed at "diverting world attention away from Riyadh's dark record of supporting terrorism."

"The Kingdom's hands were extended to Iran in peace with a positive and open attitude over the past decades, but to no avail," the king said in his first speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday, September 23.

The 85-year-old monarch accused Iran's government of having exploited international efforts to contain its nuclear activities, supporting the Houthi rebels in Yemen and targeting Saudi oil facilities in missile strikes.

"Our experience with the Iranian regime has taught us that partial solutions and appeasement did not stop its threats to international peace and security," said the king, who has left the day-to-day running of affairs of the oil-rich monarchy to his 35-year-old son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Responding to the speech, Iran's permanent envoy to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, dismissed King Salman's references as "biased," and accused him of baselessly blaming Tehran.

Ravanchi accused Saudi Arabia of "inspiring terrorism" and being an "instability factor" in the region," adding, "It has become completely clear today that Saudi Wahhabi ideology was the main source of inspiration for the most dangerous terrorist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda, and this country is seen as the key sponsor of these groups with its petrodollars."

Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Islamic Republic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeed Khatibzadeh, accused King Salaman of "delirium" and calling Saudi Arabia a "despicable" Arab country

"Successive defeats on the ground and in politics in Yemen have forced Saudi Arabia to rave at Iran," Khatibzadeh said, adding that the nation's leaders are disparaging Iran to sidestep responsibility for its war crimes against Yemeni women and children.

Several Arab countries, along with the US, have repeatedly accused Iran of creating instability in the region and providing arms support to militant groups. Still, Iranian authorities have consistently denied the allegations.

One day earlier, President Hassan Rouhani of Iran tried to present his country as a "peace-loving force for good in the region and the world" in his own address.

The process of normalizing Arab-Israeli relations, which looks set to continue, has increased pressure on Iran over its southern neighbors, with US Ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, sharing on Wednesday that another Arab state is set to sign a peace agreement with Israel within the next couple of days.