Tillerson will talk to Iran's foreign minister 'at the right time'
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 28, 2017,
May 28, 2017, 3:53
U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson also pointed out that Tehran's alleged terrorism-supporting activities should be addressed.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he's never shut off the phone to Iran - or to any country that wants a "productive conversation" - in a joint press conference Saturday in Riyadh with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir.
Tillerson said that he would likely speak to his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.
He said the conference was the first step in the joint effort to combat evil and that opening the Riyadh-based Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (GCCEI) and the agreements were the first steps toward securing stability and prosperity for future generations.
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Saturday, said that Iran must demonstrate by actions and not merely rhetoric, in proving its willingness to act peacefully with neighbors in the region.
Al-Jubeir said Iran isn't "a country that wants others to treat it with respect".
"Such a wonderful welcome for the president last night - the spirit, the fun that was going on in the air, it was very contagious for all of us", Tillerson explained.
"What I would hope, is that Rouhani. use that [new] term to begin a process of dismantling Iran's network of terrorism, dismantling its financing of the terrorist network", Tillerson told reporters.
Tillerson said on "Fox News Sunday" that the visit was meant to confront the threat of terrorism.
Trump, who during his president campaign and presidency has been outspoken about the Muslim religion, has made the focus of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia getting the Arab world to stop radical Islamic terrorism. He also expressed his hope that Iran puts an end to its ballistic missile testing and "restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization, so Iranians can live the life they deserve".