Riyadh Warned Against Any Imprudent Move

Tehran warns the Saudis against doing anything rash, but if they do something stupid, the Iranian armed forces will leave nowhere untouched, except for Mecca and Medina
Defense Minister Hossein DehqanDefense Minister Hossein Dehqan

Following Saudi deputy crown prince's comments about moving the battle to Iran, Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said if the Saudis make any imprudent move, the Iranian armed forces will hit back and destroy the entire kingdom, except for Mecca and Medina.

Dehqan gave the warning in an interview broadcast on Arabic-language Al-Manar TV on Sunday in response to remarks by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who said any battle between Riyadh and Tehran would take place on Iranian soil.

"We will work to have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia," the prince had said.

"We warn them against doing anything rash, but if they do something stupid, we will leave nowhere untouched, except for Mecca and Medina," said Dehqan.

He referred to the Saudi bombing campaign on Yemen and said the Saudis think they can do anything because they have an air force.

On Tuesday, Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the Saudi defense minister, ruled out ties with Iran after Tehran announced the possibility of de-escalation of tensions if Riyadh halts its war against Yemen.

He alleged that talks with Iran were impossible, as Tehran's goal was to "control the Muslim world".

The remarks were made after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic was ready to normalize ties with Riyadh if the Kingdom halted its bombardment of Yemen and stopped supporting extremist groups.

On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qasemi had said Prince Mohammed's remarks prove that the kingdom follows "confrontational and destructive policies" in the region and toward Tehran.

Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to bring back to power the fugitive president, Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

Riyadh has, however, failed to achieve any of its goals, despite causing great suffering to Yemeni civilians.

  Following US Lead

Deputy Chairman of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Lieutenant General Massoud Jazayeri also said on Sunday that Riyadh is implementing the hostile policies of the US and the Israeli regime in the region.

"There is nothing new with false claims made by some Saudi officials against Iran and independent countries of the region. Unfortunately, the Saudi regime carries out hostile measures against some Muslim countries in the region on behalf of the US and the Zionists," he said.

Jazayeri noted that the Saudi destructive moves in Yemen and the shedding of the blood of innocent people as well as its role in the Manama government's crackdown against Bahrainis and its large-scale acts of terror in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan all point to the fact that the Zionists are interested in the continuation of regional conflicts. The general emphasized that the Islamic Republic has taken measures to counter any terrorist move by Saudi Arabia, the US and Israel.

Jazayeri hoped that international circles, human rights bodies and the organizations whose main duty is to support peace should be extra cautious about the brutal acts of some countries in West Asia and the hostile bids of the US and Israel.

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