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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Those for Saudi-Iran war not in their right minds: Saudi minister

Iran Press TV

Fri Jan 8, 2016 9:18AM

Saudi Arabia's Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman says those pushing the idea of a war between his country and Iran are "not in their right minds."

"A war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the beginning of a major catastrophe in the region, and it will reflect very strongly on the rest of the world. For sure we will not allow any such thing," the young minister and deputy crown prince told The Economist.

A war with Iran is "something that we do not foresee at all, and whoever is pushing towards that is somebody who is not in their right mind," he added.

Several world leaders have expressed concern about Riyadh's decision to cut its diplomatic ties with Iran.

The severing of the ties came after the execution of the prominent cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, and vociferous protest by Iran at the killing.

Some Saudi allies, including Djibouti, Bahrain and Sudan, took Riyadh's lead to sever relations with Iran.

Iranian officials have criticized Saudi Arabia's abrupt move, saying Tehran has always acted with self-restraint to Riyadh's actions.

They have cited a Sept. 24, 2015 crush that killed 465 Iranians during Hajj rituals in Saudi Arabia and the kingdom's police killing of about 400 Iranian pilgrims in 1987.

On Wednesday, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Saudi Arabia's recent move was aimed at covering its policy failures in the region.

The new Saudi leader King Salman has taken aggressive steps over the past year since coming to power in spite of Iran's overtures to ease tensions.

In the days since the execution of Sheikh Nimr, Riyadh has done nothing to halt an escalation in confrontation, demonstrating a level of comfort with brinkmanship.

On Thursday, Iran said Saudi warplanes had attacked its embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, and injured some staff. Tehran said it will submit a report on the incident to the United Nations.

Political analysts believe the kingdom's measures are rooted in domestic reasons as the new regime seeks to reassert itself and project power among the vassal states.

Saudi Arabia is running a patronage system which has expanded with the outbreak of the Islamic Awakening in the Arab world as Riyadh tries to smother the movement.

Hence, a deliberate muddling of waters in ties with Iran is viewed as a bid by the kingdom to impress those vassal states.

'The diplomatic rupture with Iran triggered by the execution of a Shia cleric was probably a side effect of a decision taken by Saudi Arabia for domestic reasons, rather than the outcome of a deliberate ploy to enrage its regional opponent,' Reuters said in a news analysis on Thursday.

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