Iran has said it will leave nothing standing in the Kingdom except for Muslim holy cities of Makkah and Madina if the Saudis do anything “ignorant”.
“We warn them against doing anything ignorant, but if they do something ignorant, we will leave nowhere untouched apart from Makkah and Madina,” Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan told Arabic-speaking Al-Manar channel, cited by Press TV.
Dehghan’s comment followed unusually blunt remarks by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said on Tuesday that any struggle for influence between Riyadh and Tehran would take place “inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia.”
In unusually blunt comments in a nationally-televised interview on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed ruled out any dialogue with Iran and pledged to protect his conservative kingdom from what he called Tehran’s efforts to dominate the Muslim world.
“We know that we are a main goal for the Iranian regime,” he said. “We will not wait until the battle becomes in Saudi Arabia but we will work to have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi-Iran row ::
Saudi Arabia and Iran compete for influence in the Middle East and support rival groups in Syria’s civil war. Iran denies Saudi accusations that it sends financial and sometimes armed support to groups hostile to Riyadh around the Arab world.
“They think they can do something because they have an air force,” Dehghan added in an apparent reference to Riyadh’s bombing of Yemen, where Iran-affiliated Houthi forces are being routinely targeted by the Saudi Air Force.
Ties between regional powers Saudi Arabia and Iran have been strained since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, but tensions began to mount rapidly over the past few years.
Perhaps the most significant flare-up happened in January last year, when Riyadh executed Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia preacher. Massive demonstrations erupted in Tehran, with some protesters ransacking the Saudi embassy and setting it ablaze.
The next day, Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran, though Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said there was no justification for the assault.
The incident took place amid the infamous Saudi intervention in Yemen aimed at restoring the power of ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Riyadh accuses Tehran of waging a proxy war there by arming and supplying Houthi rebels, though Iran denies the allegations. According to UN estimates, the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen killed over 13,000 civilians during the two years of the conflict.
By: Daily Pakistan