Saudis exporting ‘extremely radical’ Wahhabism worldwide, Sanders says

Vermont Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders has asserted that the US foreign policy towards Iran and Saudi Arabia is wrong, blaming Riyadh for promoting “extremely radical Wahhabi doctrine” worldwide.

In his interview with The Intercept published on Friday, the former presidential candidate also stated that he does not consider Riyadh an ally because it supports terrorism.

“It is not just that many of the 9/11 bombers came from Saudi Arabia,” he said. “What I think is more significant is their … continuing to fund madrasas and to spread an extremely radical Wahhabi doctrine in many countries around the world. And they are funding these mosques, they’re funding the madrasas, and they are fomenting a lot of hatred.”

He also condemned the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran, suggesting that Washington should side with Tehran rather than the Saudis.

“I think that one of the areas that we have got to rethink, in terms of American foreign policy, is our position vis-a-vis Iran and Saudi Arabia,” said the senator. “For whatever reason — and I think we know some of the reasons having to do with a three-letter word called oil — the United States has kind of looked aside at the fact that Saudi Arabia is an incredibly anti-democratic country and has played a very bad role internationally, but we have sided with them time and time and time again.”

Sanders also noted the United States is “complicit” in the Israeli regime’s occupation of Palestinian territories.

He condemned Washington’s unfair approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“In terms of Israeli-Palestinian relations, the United States has got to play a much more evenhanded role. Clearly that is not the case right now,” Sanders said.

The senator also responded “yes” when asked if the US should reduce its aid to Tel Aviv worth at least $3 billion per annum, or US arms sales to the Israeli military, further asserting that Washington should help Palestinians to build areas such as the war-ravaged Gaza Strip.