June 13, 2017
OSLO (Reuters) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday said Saudi Arabia was supporting militants inside Iran, days after hardline Sunni group Islamic State claimed attacks in Tehran.
Relations between the two neighbours are at their most tense in years. Last week Riyadh, along with other Arab governments, severed ties with Qatar, citing its support of Iran as one of the main reasons for the move.
Two days later, the suicide bombings and shootings in Tehran killed 17 people. Iran repeated accusations that Saudi Arabia funds Islamic militants including Islamic State. Riyadh has denied involvement in the attacks.
“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.
Baluchistan province is home to a Sunni population who form a minority in majority Shi’ite 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.
“On the Western side, the same type of activity is being undertaken, again abusing the diplomatic hospitality of our other neighbour,” he said, without elaborating.
Iran also accuses the United States for Islamist militancy in the region.