Iran defense minister warns Saudi Arabia after 'battle' comments

حسين دهقان - وزير دفاع

Tehran (ISNA) - Iran will hit back at most of Saudi Arabia with the exception of Islam's holiest places if the kingdom does anything "ignorant", Iran's defense minister saying after a Saudi prince threatened to move the "battle" to Iran.

"If the Saudis do anything ignorant, we will leave no area untouched except Mecca and Medina," Iranian defense minister Hossein Dehghan said.

"They think they can do something because they have an air force," he added in an apparent reference to Yemen.

Dehghan, speaking to Arabic-language Al-Manar TV, was commenting on remarks by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said on Tuesday any contest for influence between the Saudi Arabia and Iran ought to take place "inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia".

In unusually blunt comments in a nationally-televised interview on Tuesday, Prince Mohammed ruled out any dialogue with Iran and pledged to protect his conservative kingdom from what he called “Tehran's efforts to dominate the Muslim world”.

Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Bagheri also announced that unfortunately some of Pakistani regions neighboring Iran’s eastern border have become to haven and training, preparing and equipping ground for terrorists who were protégés of Saudi Arabia.

“The continuation of this situation in joint borders is intolerable and Iran is expected that Pakistani authorities with responsibility, controlling the borders and arresting terrorists close their havens,” he said.

“Iran will hit back the terrorist havens wherever they are if the aggressions continue,” Bagheri added.

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