Iran’s ruling regime blasted the “unholy partnership” between the United States and Saudi Arabia on Monday, arguing it will bring “further instability, war, extremism and an arms race in the Middle East.”
“What the U.S. secretary of state has said about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s role and presence in some regional countries is a repetition of empty and baseless claims,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by state media outlet PressTV.
Qassemi made the comments after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi and Israeli leaders this weekend, where he accused Iran of destabilizing and promoting terror across the region with their support for the Assad regime in Syria and the Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“We remain deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains. The United States is with Israel in this fight,” Pompeo said during his meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Qassemi maintained that Iran’s support was based on “requests of their legitimate governments and in line with fighting terrorism in the region.”
“This support will continue as long as the two governments need such help to combat terror,” he said, adding that criticism of their presence in Yemen was “only aimed at deflecting the attention of the international public opinion from the crimes being committed daily by Saudi Arabia in its aggression against the country.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, also claimed the U.S. is “trying to provoke the Saudis and certain countries in the region and pit them against the Islamic Republic.”
“Their plan is to arm and prepare these countries for a confrontation with the Islamic Republic,” he told a crowd of workers ahead of the country’s Labor Day. “If these countries have any common sense, they will not engage in a conflict with Iran. But if they decide to confront Iran, they will face a decisive defeat.”
“The Americans do not want to suffer the cost of confronting the Islamic Republic and the powerful nation of Iran themselves; they want to make some states in the region shoulder it,” he continued.
Tensions between the two countries remain higher than ever amid their struggle for regional dominance with their continued involvement with multiple regional conflicts, as well as religious disputes over their interpretations of Islam.
Last November, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman described Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the “new Hitler of the Middle East,” while Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan has previously threatened destruction against every part of Saudi Arabia except its holy cities should the Kingdom “do anything ignorant.”
Relations between the United States are also at an all-time low with the Trump administration currently weighing up whether to scrap the Iran nuclear deal signed by Barack Obama that ensured they would degrade the nuclear capabilities.
Yet on Monday, Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi hinted that Tehran might leave the agreement first, arguing that it is “no longer sustainable for Iran in its present form, without regard to a U.S. exit.”