Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

WorldRemit: Helping migrant workers send money back home

Read more

FOCUS

The challenges awaiting the new leader of South Africa's ANC

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Bangladeshi PM calls violence in Myanmar 'unacceptable'

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Was 2017 the worst year for the environment?

Read more

ENCORE!

Rhiannon Giddens strikes out on her 'Freedom Highway'

Read more

#THE 51%

Not such a feminist paradise: Iceland struggles to deal with violence towards women

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Climate change: Half of Mexico's coffee plantations have disappeared

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The legendary Swallow Line train in France's Jura region

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Japanese FM against 'dialogue for the sake of dialogue' with Pyongyang

Read more

Middle East

Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran's leader 'new Hitler'

© Fayez Nureldine, AFP | Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a meeting with Lebanon's Christian Maronite patriarch on November 14, 2017, in Riyadh.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-11-24

Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince called the Supreme Leader of Iran "the new Hitler of the Middle East" in an interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, sharply escalating the war of words between the arch-rivals.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran back rival sides in wars and political crises throughout the region.

Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defence minister in the U.S.-allied kingdom, suggested the Islamic Republic's alleged expansion under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei needed to be confronted.

"But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn't work. We don't want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East," the paper quoted him as saying.

Iran reacted harshly by saying that Salman was discredited internationally by his "immature" behaviour, state television reported.

"No one in the world and in the international arena gives credit to him because of his immature and weak-minded behaviour and remarks," Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted as saying.

"Now that he has decided to follow the path of famous regional dictators ... he should think about their fate as well."

Tensions soared this month when Lebanon's Saudi-allied Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in a television broadcast from Riyadh, citing the influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and risks to his life.

Hezbollah called the move an act of war engineered by Saudi authorities, an accusation they denied.

Hariri has since suspended his resignation.

Saudi Arabia has launched thousands of air strikes in a 2-1/2-year-old war in neighbouring Yemen to defeat the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement that seized broad swaths of the country.

Salman told the Times that the war was going in its favour and that its allies controlled 85 percent of Yemen's territory.

The Houthis, however, still retain the main population centres despite the war effort by a Saudi-led military coalition which receives intelligence and refuelling for its warplanes by the United States. Some 10,000 people have died in the conflict.

The group launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh's main airport on Nov. 4, which Saudi Arabis decried as an act of war by Tehran.

Bin Salman said in May that the kingdom would make sure any future struggle between the two countries "is waged in Iran".

For his part, Khamenei has referred to the House of Saud as an "accursed tree", and Iranian officials have accused the kingdom of spreading terrorism, an accusation it denies.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2017-11-24

  • SAUDI ARABIA

    The meteoric rise of Prince Mohammed bin Salman

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Lebanese President Aoun says PM Hariri's freedom restricted in Saudi Arabia

    Read more

  • LEBANON

    Hezbollah says Lebanon PM's resignation 'imposed' by Saudi Arabia

    Read more

COMMENT(S)