He said: “Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world. It’s determined to upend the order in the Middle East … [and] until and unless Iran changes its behaviour, it would be very difficult to deal with a country like this.”
The Saudi Foreign Minister then said that “red lines” need to be established in order to confront Iran. He also said that Iran’s behaviour can potentially be changed if there were restrictions for trade, travel and banking.
The Israeli defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said that Iran is attempting to undermine Saudi Arabia and said that Arab countries and Israel need to pull together to confront the radicalism in the Middle East.
He said: “The real division is not Jews, Muslims … but moderate people versus radical people.”
The foreign minister of Turkey, Mevlut Cavusoglu, also agreed that the “sectarian policy” favoured by Iran has the purpose of undermining Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Cavusoglu affirmed that Turkey is completely against any kind of division.
Mohammad Javad Zarif, the foreign minister of Iran, appealed to other nations in the Middle East to help Iran. He said: “We have enough problems in this region so we want to start a dialogue with countries we call brothers in Islam.”
He also claimed that Iran is not planning to obtain a nuclear weapon.
With regards to the Trump administration’s recent rhetoric regarding the role of Iran in the Middle East, Zarif said that Iran does not respond positively to threats and sanctions.
A member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Christopher Murphy, said that the United States needs to define its role in the regional conflict. He said: “We have to make a decision whether we are going to get involved in the emerging proxy war in a bigger way than we are today, between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”
In any case, it has been widely agreed that Iran needs to be treated firmly. The years of Obama’s appeasement of the Iranian regime were fruitless, so the opposite direction is a good place to start.