Saudi king Salman slams Iran as 'spearhead of global terrorism', vows to eliminate ISIS

Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud attends a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the US president in Riyadh.
Saudi's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud attends a meeting with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the US president in Riyadh. PHOTO: AFP

RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Sunday accused regional rival Shiite Iran of exporting extremist Islamic movements to the world and vowed to eliminate ISIS.

"The Iranian regime has been the spearhead of global terrorism since the (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini revolution" in 1979, King Salman said in a speech to leaders including US President Donald Trump.

"We did not know terrorism and extremism until the Khomeini revolution reared its head," he said.

Saudi Arabia was also determined to "eliminate the Islamic State group", the king said of the Sunni Muslim Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

 

The Saudi leader's speech came minutes the highly-anticipated speech by Mr Trump, who arrived in the Sunni kingdom on Saturday on his first foreign tour since taking office.

The United States and Saudi Arabia on Saturday announced an arms deal worth almost US$110 billion ($152 billion), described as the largest in US history.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the deal was aimed at countering "malign Iranian influence".