Tehran: Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has called Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman “immature” after the latter described him as the “new Hitler” of the region.
Iran’s foreign minister Bahram Qasemi said Salman’s remarks were “inconsiderate and baseless”.
Salman should think of the fate of several past dictators of the region whom he still regards as role models.
Saudi Arabia has stepped up verbal attacks on Iran after its military intercepted an ‘Iranian’ ballistic missile near Riyadh airport. Salman is viewing this as an open declaration of war.
Relations between the two nations have worsened amid the ongoing civil war in Yemen between forces allied to the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebels.
The Yemen war is in fact seen as part of a power struggle between Shia-dominated Iran and Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia. This conflict of interests between the two arch rivals has raised tension in Syria, Qatar and Lebanon.
At home, Salman is fighting enemies within his own family. In what he described a drive against corruption, he recently arrested 11 princes, several officials and businessmen.
It is feared that amid rumors of his possible takeover as king sooner or later, 32-year-old Salman may declare war on Iran to prove he is the most powerful man in the Arab World.