Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Saturday that his country, rival of Saudi Arabia, was ready to “defend” the interests of the Saudi people and called on Muslims around the world to unite against the United states.
Shi’ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, heavyweights in the Middle East, whose diplomatic ties have broken down since 2016, have maintained conflicting and difficult relations for decades. They oppose many regional and international issues.
Tehran is an enemy of the United States and Ryad is a close ally of Washington.
“We are ready to defend, with all our might, the interests of the Saudi people against terrorism and the superpowers,” Rohani said at an international conference in Tehran on Islamic Unity.
“We are not asking for $ 450 billion for this and we will not insult you,” he added, referring to the amount of military contracts between Ryad and Washington.
The Iranian president stressed that the Saudi “brothers” had nothing to fear from Tehran.
“What the United States wants (from the Middle East) today is enslavement,” Rohani said, calling on Ryad to end his reliance on “insulting” US military aid.
Instead of “rolling out the red carpet to criminals”, the Iranian president continued, the governments of Muslim countries should unite against the United States and Israel described as “cancerous tumor of the region”.
Iran does not recognize the existence of the State of Israel and the latter accuses Tehran of seeking to manufacture the atomic bomb.
In recent months, the United States has reinstated unilateral sanctions against Iran after withdrawing in May from the nuclear deal signed in 2015 by Tehran and the major powers. The Europeans, China and Russia, however, remained party to this agreement with Tehran, which respects the terms according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Great ally of the United States and virulent critic of Iran, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced in a statement “the murderous Iranian regime”.
“Rohani’s slanders, which calls for the destruction of Israel, prove once again why nations around the world must join the sanctions imposed on the Iranian terrorist regime that threatens them too,” he said.