Anger In Davos After Iran FM & CNN's Zakaria Take Spotlight On Main Stage

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jan 17, 2024 - 03:40 PM

Speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has warned that "we are witnessing an expansion of the conflict in the Middle East."

Many Western leaders and officials present are not happy that the Iranian top diplomat was given prominence on the main stage at Davos Wednesday, which included an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria. During that discussion Abdollahian boasted that Iran's ballistic missile attack on northern Iraq on Monday targeted "elements and agents of Mossad" in Erbil.

There are reports that a building used as a Mossad headquarters in the region was blown up by the short-range ballistic missile strike. The below image has circulated widely on social media, purporting to show the destroyed alleged Israeli intelligence center...

As for the Iranian Foreign Minister's presence on the Davos stage, it reportedly drew a huge media presence, and Politico captured some of the shock and anger among attendees in a blog entry called "Iran Comes to Town":

IRAN IN THE SPOTLIGHT: One of the international community’s best-known pariah states — Iran — will have pride of place at the WEF today, when Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian is interviewed by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria in the Congress Center.

Awks: The Iranian’s appearance is scheduled a few hours after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken graces the stage. (Don’t expect any fist-bumps in the corridors.)

Courting controversy: Amir-Abdollahian was a relatively last-minute addition to the schedule — a move that’s being slammed by groups like United Against Nuclear Iran.

Interesting company: One of Amir-Abdollahian’s recent international visits was to Qatar, where he met with Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the political bureau of Hamas. And just a couple of days ago, Amir-Abdollahian spoke by phone with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Iran has also been accused by the US of arming the Houthis even as the Yemeni rebel group wages war on international shipping in the Red Sea. Sky News Arabia has also newly cited a US defense official who says the Houthis "have prepared plans to target US bases in the Arab region."

Prior to taking the stage with Fareed Zakaria, Abdollahian on Tuesday told CNBC that Washington's backing of Israel is "the root of insecurity" in the Middle East. "The US should not, Mr. [Joe] Biden should not, tie their destiny to the fate of Netanyahu," he had said. "The full-scale cooperation of Biden and the White House with thugs like Netanyahu in Israel is the root of insecurity in the region."

He had a similar theme Wednesday on the Davos main stage. Within 24 hours prior, Iran had also launched missiles on an area of Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province, said to be targeting the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl, which is known in Iran as Jaish al-Dhulm. Tehran said this is in response to the Kerman city suicide bombing which killed over 100 people on January 3rd.

Watch Iran's foreign minister and CNN's Zakaria on stage at Davos...

Abdollahian was asked about this and the attack on Iraq, and responded to Zakaria, "We have good relations with both Pakistan and Iraq, and we have security pacts with both fighting terrorism & securing our common borders. We targeted the Mossad headquarters in Erbil with missiles, not Iraq."

However, he also stressed, "We don’t tolerate terrorist presence in Pakistan and the Zionist presence in Erbil. We consider the security of Iraq and Pakistan as part of Iran's security." He claimed that Iran didn't target Pakistani nationals, despite Pakistan reporting that two children were killed as a result of the missile strikes. Throughout the interview with Zakaria, the Iranian FM charged Israel with genocide, and also blamed the West - including the United States - for enabling the mass killing of Palestinians.