Iran’s Defence Minister Hossein Dehqan has warned that his country will not leave any area of Saudi Arabia intact, except the holy sites, if Riyadh makes any “ignorant moves” against Tehran.
Responding to Saudi Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman’s recent threat that the Gulf state should move the battlefield to within Iran, Dehqan, speaking Sunday on Al Manar TV said, “They think they can do something because they have an air force.”
“We recommend them (Saudis) not to make any ignorant moves, but if they do, we will not leave anywhere intact except Mecca and Medina,” he added.
The young Saudi Prince bin Salman had accused Iran of trying to dominate the Muslim world saying, “We know that we are a main goal for the Iranian regime… 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.”
Tehran issued a formal letter of protest to the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, saying the prince’s words violated Article 2 of the UN Charter.
“While categorically rejecting the baseless allegations against my country, I wish to underline that his statement reflects an unveiled threat against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” the letter said, according to the New York Times.
“Iran and Saudi Arabia’s rivalry has played out in proxy wars across the region. They back opposite sides of the wars in Syria and Yemen, and support political rivals in Lebanon, Bahrain and Iraq. The conflicts have deepened Sunni-Shia enmity between hard-liners on both sides,” The New Arab reported.