King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

(170621) — RIYADH, June 21, 2017 (Xinhua) — File photo taken on Nov. 6, 2016 shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi King replaces Mohammed bin Nayef with Mohammed bin Salman as crown prince on Wednesday. (Xinhua/Wang Bo) (djj)

RIYADH (Rahnuma) Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington’s decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list.

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site.

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero … There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.

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