Countering terrorist backers is first step to contain terrorism: Rouhani

TEHRAN – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the first step in fighting terrorism, especially Daesh terrorism, is to counter the countries that provide terrorists with modern weapons and financial help.

“Some countries should be aware of the fact that supporting and using terrorists (as a tool) to achieve their political and regional objectives is not a good option and will not yield to result,” Rouhani said during a meeting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius in Tehran.

Rouhani added, “All countries’ determination and cooperation are essential in fighting terrorism.”

Certain countries in the region allied to the West have been overtly or covertly supporting extremist groups. For example at a House Foreign Affairs panel hearing on May 24, both Republicans and Democrats took turns accusing Saudi Arabia of being a front of extremism. Lawmakers said Saudi support for the propagation of radical Islam has fueled religious violence around the world.

According to Al Monitor, terrorism subcommittee Chairman Ted Poe, R-Texas, said, “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia still spends billions of dollars every year exporting the Wahhabi interpretation of Islam through its networks of building mosques and schools throughout the world, including in the United States.”

-------Post-nuclear deal opportunities

Rouhani also highlighted the importance of expanding economic ties between Iran and Lithuania, suggesting that the two countries should use the post-nuclear deal opportunities to expand cooperation.

Linkevicius said that Lithuania seeks to expand relations with Iran.

Lithuania enjoys good capabilities in areas of nanotechnology and biotechnology and can share experiences in these spheres with Iran, he added.

The Lithuanian foreign minister met separately with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday.