Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Iraq's Mosul: Rebuilding a broken city

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Bistrot or bust? Why France's famed cafés are disappearing

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: Afghans live in fear as kidnappings soar

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Kenya court rules Dubai firm can print presidential ballots

Read more

ENCORE!

Omar El Akkad's 'American War': A tale of US dystopia

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Exxon sues US over $2m fine for violating Russia sanctions

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Too sexy for Malaysia': Hit single 'Despacito' stirs controversy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is this the end of Emmanuel Macron's honeymoon period?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Macron's air force uniform draws Tom Cruise comparisons

Read more

Iran Guards chief calls Saudi 'terrorist state'

© AFP/File | "Today, the Saudis are becoming a terrorist state in the region," said Iran Revolutionary Guard Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, seen in 2011

TEHRAN (AFP) - 

The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Tuesday described Saudi Arabia as a "terrorist state" as he announced his position had been extended for three years.

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari's 10-year stint as commander of the elite military force was due to expire in three months.

But in a speech carried by the semi-official Fars and Tasnim news agencies, he said it would continue until at least 2020.

In a speech at a Guards meeting in Tehran, he highlighted the threat from Saudi Arabia, which backs opposing sides to Iran in several regional conflicts.

"Today, the Saudis are becoming a terrorist state in the region," he said.

"Today in our region only the countries that are powerful enough will remain safe," he added.

"We face an enemy that only understands the language of force, so we cannot speak to the enemy with another language."

However, Jafari said there was still room for negotiations.

"Some try to say that we are against interaction with the world and seek war," he said.

"I say with a loud voice that the Sepah (Revolutionary Guards) also seek peace, but peace can only be realised and last if the enemy is scared of starting a war with us and fears its consequences."

Jafari, 59, rose through the ranks during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei chose him to lead the Guards in September 2007.

The Guards are a parallel military force set up to safeguard the 1979 Islamic revolution.

They oversee Iran's external operations in Syria, Iraq and beyond, as well as running their own domestic intelligence and economic operations.

The United States has strict sanctions on the group, accusing it of terrorist activity and destabilising the region.

© 2017 AFP