Tillerson to Iran: Stop supporting terrorism, respect human rights

Tillerson called on Iran to changes its policies if it truly seeks to change its relationship with the rest of the world.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called upon Iran’s re-elected president to end all support and financing of terrorist groups now that he has won another term in office.

Speaking Saturday in Saudi Arabia, Tillerson said President Hassan Rouhani now has the opportunity to end Iran’s role in supporting “destabilizing forces that exist in this region.”

He also expressed his hope that Iran puts an end to its ballistic missile testing and “restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization, so Iranians can live the life they deserve.”

He would not comment on his expectations following the outcome of Friday’s election in Iran, only saying that “if Rouhani wanted to change Iran’s relationship with the rest of the world those are the things he could do.”

Tillerson said that the focal point of President Donald Trump’s visit to the region was to curb the threat posed by arch-rival Iran.

The vice-president was speaking at a joint press conference with his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

After his victory, Rouhani stated that his country seeks peace and friendship as it pursues a “path of coexistence and interaction with the world.”

Today, Iran — prouder than ever — is ready to promote its relations with the world based on mutual respect and national interests,” he said in a televised address.

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran have been strained since Iran’s 1979 revolution, with each side competing to be the more powerful force in the Muslim world.

Tensions escalated last year. Saudi Arabia’s execution of a local Shiite cleric sparked the ransacking of the Saudi Embassy in Iran by protesters. The two countries severed diplomatic and trade ties.

The rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia has played out in proxy wars across the region. They back opposite sides in the wars in Syria and Yemen and support each other’s political rivals in Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq. The conflicts have deepened Sunni-Shiite enmity on both sides.

Most recently, Iran threatened to destroy Saudi Arabia.

By: World Israel News Staff