French President Emmanuel Macron has warned the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia against making belligerent statements on the recent developments inside Iran, calling on them to tone down their rhetoric which, he said, could lead to “war.”
“The official line pursued by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, who are our allies in many ways, is almost one that would lead us to war,” Macron told reporters on Wednesday.
The French president warned that for some countries, such a hostile policy is a “deliberate strategy.”
Macron underlined the need to maintain “permanent dialog” with Iran in an attempt to balance ties with Tehran while seeking channels to “increase international pressure” on the Islamic Republic.
“Otherwise, we end up surreptitiously rebuilding an ‘axis of evil,’” referring to the term used in 2002 by the then US president, George W. Bush, to call Iran, Iraq and North Korea in an attempt to rally support for launching a military campaign abroad under the pretext of fighting terror.
Macron further warned that the US and its allies risk engaging in a “conflict of extreme brutality” by sticking to their current hostile policies against Iran.
Last week, a number of peaceful protests began in several areas across the country, with the participants calling on authorities to address their economic issues.
Those gatherings were, however, overshadowed when armed elements and vandals showed up among ordinary protesters and began to launch attacks on public property, police stations and religious sites.
The original protesters soon left the streets upon calls by the authorities so security forces could deal with the rioters and sporadic violence, which continued in some towns and cities for several days.
Over a dozen people have been killed in the violence, according to state media reports. Since Wednesday, Iranian cities have been the scene of large pro-establishment rallies in condemnation of the deadly unrest.
The US and Israel were quick to come out in support of the violence and cheered the rioters, who set fire to buildings, broke their windows and attempted, in some cases, to storm police and military sites.
Trump, who had previously called Iranians a “terrorist” nation, posted several tweets to express his support for protests in Iran. In a tweet on Tuesday, the US president said, “The [Iranian] people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The US is watching!”
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley announced on Tuesday that Washington would call on the United Nations to hold an emergency meeting over the situation in Iran. The 15-nation body let down that call.
Iranian officials slammed Trump’s insulting tweets, urging him to avoid interfering in the Islamic Republic’s internal affairs.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the unrest, claiming the Iranian government “finally falls, Iranians and Israelis will be great friends once again.”
Saudi Arabia has also been pursuing an open warmongering policy toward Iran. Earlier in 2017, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman threatened to move the “battle” to Iran.
He accused Iran of seeking to take over Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia, telling The New York Times, “We will not wait for the battle to be in Saudi Arabia. Instead, we will work so that the battle is for them in Iran.”
Iranian authorities have said enemy hands are at work behind the scenes to incite unrest in Iran.
Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani has said certain countries are waging a “proxy war” against the Islamic Republic via social media and the Internet.
The Saudi regime, alone, has created around 27 percent of the new hashtags created by foreigners against Iran in the course of the violence over the past days, Shamkhani said.
Among the elements active on the scene of riots in Iran are those with the France-based MKO terrorist organization.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged Paris in a phone call with Macron to take immediate actions against the MKO, the most hated terrorist group among the Iranians because of its dark history of assassinations and bombings, and for siding with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in his eight-year war against Iran in the 1980s.
Rouhani has said Iranians are free to criticize and hold protests to express their views according to law, but the manner of expressing such criticism must help improve Iran’s conditions.
On Tuesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei warned that enemies have been using various tools to deal blows to the Iranian nation and the Islamic establishment following the recent protests.