The Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei tells the visiting Turkish president Recep Tayip Erdogan to not exacerbate the crisis in Yemen and Syria by aiding the warmongers or the takfiris terrorists. Will Erdogan take heed? Time will tell but his past conduct does not give much hope. Still the Iranians were as gracious as ever in hosting the Turkish president.
Tuesday April 7, 2015, 16:56 DST
Ever the gracious hosts, leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran looked past the tantrums of Turkish President Recept Tayip Erdogan and gave him a warm reception in Tehran on April 7. The visiting Turkish president and his delegation were even granted an audience with the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei who called for an end to military aggression against Yemen and foreign meddling in its affairs.
The Rahbar said the crisis in Yemen was one of many the Muslim world faced and stressed, “The stance of the Islamic Republic with regard to all countries including Yemen is opposition to foreign intervention. Therefore, from our point of view, the solution to the crisis in Yemen is also the halt of foreign intervention and attacks against the people of this country.” This was a direct reference to the Saudi-led attack on Yemen that was launched on March 26 and has resulted in nearly 550 deaths, almost all of them civilians. Much of Yemen’s infrastructure has also been destroyed.
Turkey has backed the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East. The attack is backed by such other Saudi allies as Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE. The US has also extended help with the latest announcement from the White House today that the US would supply additional weapons to the aggressor Arabian countries. Washington is already providing intelligence and logistical support.
Obviously, nearly two weeks of bombings have exhausted the Arabians’ military stocks. These need to replenished, and Uncle Sam is there to help. In his meeting with Erdogan, the Rahbar stressed that the “Yemenis should decide the future of their country,” adding, “Today, the United States and the Zionists are elated with differences among Muslim countries. The solution to these problems is cooperation between the Islamic countries and taking practical and constructive measures.” The Rahbar also pointed out to his guest that regional countries will not benefit from trusting the West and the US, adding that everyone can clearly see the outcome of the measures taken by the West in the region whose net result is detrimental to people of the region and to Islam.
Expanding on the theme, the Rahbar referred to developments in Iraq and Syria and drew attention to the violent acts of terrorist groups in these countries. He added that those who fail to see the role of the enemy [imperialism and Zionism] in the crises in these countries are deceiving themselves. The US and Zionist regimes are highly pleased with what is going on in the region, said the Rahbar. They do not want an end to the scourge of the Takfiri terrorist groups.
“Who supports these groups financially and logistically?” the Rahbar asked, pointing to the brutalities—head choppings, liver-eating and other barbaric practices—of the takfiris and their allied groups. Touching on the expansion of relations between Iran and Turkey, the Rahbar said: “The strength of every Muslim country is, indeed, the strength of the entire Islamic world and the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that the Islamic countries should strengthen each other.”
During his visit and meetings with Iranian officials, Erdogan tried to steer clear of his controversial views and concentrated instead on developing trade relations. The Turkish president said that trade between their two countries should be increased to $40 billion annually from its current level of $14 billion (2014 figures). He also suggested that the two countries should trade in each other’s currency and avoid the dollar and the euro. This will help overcome fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates. Erdogan asked that Iran should lower the price of gas it supplies to Turkey.
Iran will definitely give this serious consideration but in return it will expect Turkey to adopt more realistic policies that do not harm the interests of Muslims. Erdogan would also help his country’s cause if he were to control his temper somewhat. These are not good qualities in a statesman, that is, if he is trying to be one.