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Iran vows Saudi destruction, leaving only holy cities untouched

Hossein Dehghan warned that 'ignorant' Saudi acts would be met with a fierce response [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 8 May, 2017

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Iran hits back at the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince's comments about Tehran-Riyadh relations by threatening to attack all of Saudi Arabia, leaving 'no area untouched except Mecca and Medina.'
Iran will leave "no area untouched" in Saudi Arabia if the kingdom does anything "ignorant," Iran's defence minister was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Defence Minister Hossein Dehghan's warning came after a Saudi prince threatened to take the "battle" to Iran. 

"If the Saudis do anything ignorant, we will leave no area untouched except Mecca and Medina," Dehghan said, according to the state-backed Tasnim news agency.

"They think they can do something because they have an air force," he added, allegedly in reference to Saudi Arabia's airstrikes on Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Speaking to the Hizballah-affiliated Al-Manar TV, Dehghan was addressing remarks made by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said on Tuesday any that Tehran and Riyadh's differences should be settled "inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia".

The prince also ruled out dialogue with Iran, saying that the Shia theocracy is aiming to dominate the ultra-conservative Sunni kingdom.

"We know that we are a main goal for the Iranian regime," bin Salman said.

"We will not wait until the battle becomes in Saudi Arabia but we will work to have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia."

Dehghan said that Iran would advise against "such a stupidity" because in that case, nothing would be "left in Saudi Arabia except Mecca and Medina," the two holy cities.

Tehran and Riyadh have long competed for influence over the Middle East and the wider Muslim world. The two rivals have backed opposing sides in Syria and Yemen, where ongoing civil wars have claimed thousands of lives.

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