07:00 GMT17 February 2020
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    Iraqi Vice President Nouri al-Maliki condemned Saudi Arabia’s support of Daesh while expressing gratitude to Iran for helping in the fight against jihadism.

    "Iraq has no problem with any Arab countries except for Saudi Arabia, and that is because of all the plots the Saudi regime has devised against us," he said. 

    In a recent meeting with Ali Akbar Velayati, senior advisor to the Iranian ayatollah, Iraq’s Maliki said that Iran has been the only ally to deliver on vows to support Iraq’s ongoing military engagement with Daesh. Maliki visited Tehran to hash out plans and strengthen relations between Iraq and Iran, which he says have close and strategic ties. 

    Saudi Arabia has the most to lose when Daesh eventually falls, as regional oil fields would belong exclusively to Baghdad’s Shia-led government, Riyadh’s long-term adversary. Daesh is arguably the most-well funded terror group in history, thanks to steady streams of cash from Sunni sympathizer groups in Saudi Arabia. Gulf kingdoms, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton accused last year of being "financial and logistic" backers of ISIS in documents published by WikiLeaks, were called out by Maliki, who said they will never "truly" be regional allies. 

    The continued sale of billions of dollars of US-made high-precision, laser-guided missiles, Chinook helicopters, and other sophisticated, Pentagon-grade military equipment to the Saudis indicates hypocrisy in Washington’s corridors of power. The Congressional Research Service recently published a brief pointing out that, in 2015, Qatar procured more American weapons than any country on earth. The nation dropped a cool $17.5 billion on US weapons, almost half of America’s estimated $40 billion in weapons sales that year.

    Ironically, the US condemns terrorist organizations like Daesh and al-Qaeda, and has risked the lives of thousands of young Americans to defeat them, yet equips Gulf states that support these groups with the Pentagon’s finest military technology. 

    Velayati applauded Syrian and Russian efforts to liberate Aleppo, noting that the victory was not just a Syrian victory but also one "for Iraq and Iran as well."


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    jihadism, al-Qaeda, Daesh, Nouri al-Maliki, Ali Akbar Velayati, Saudi Arabia, Tehran, Iraq
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