- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Iran, reacting to President Donald Trump’s speech at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, called out the commander-in-chief for his blunt rhetoric and accused him of harming Tehran’s reputation in the Middle East.

Consider this your Monday morning laugh. You’re welcome.

“Once again, by his repetitive and baseless claims about Iran, the American president … tried to encourage the countries of the region to purchase more arms by spreading Iranophobia,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi, just a day after Trump visited Saudi Arabia and signed off on arms deals valued around $110 billion.

Why the upset?

Trump had called on Arab and Islamic leaders to join together and fight radical Islamism — and oh yes, mentioned how Iran has “fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terrors” for decades, Reuters reported.

Likely, that part didn’t sit well with Tehran.

Qassemi said the United States was actually the country to blame for terrorism around the world, in part, by “selling arms to dangerous terrorists.”

And this is the part that should bring on the chuckles: Qassemi characterized Iran as stable-minded and democratic.

“[America and its allies] should know that Iran is a democratic, stable and powerful country … [a promoter of] peace, good neighborliness and the creation of a world opposed to violence and extremism,” he said, Reuters reported.

That whole thing about Iran being the world’s biggest sponsor of terror? Fuhgetabout it.

Even the State Department under Barack Obama labeled Iran at the top of list for countries that sponsored terror.

For instance: The report, released in 2016, said Iran “remained the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2015, providing a range of support, including financial, training and equipment to groups around the world.” It also said Iran was giving both weapons and cash to Hezbollah and several Iraqi Shia terror groups.

Obama’s own State Department spokesman, Justin Siberell, had this to say about the findings on Iran, CNN reported: “[We’re] concerned about a wide range of Iranian activities to destabilize the region.”

So Iran’s committed to fostering peace — getting along with neighbors, as Qassemi said?

Definitely one for the Top Ten Humorous Political Remarks of 2017.

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