Iran’s supreme leader on Monday accused Washington of attempting to orchestrate a “regional crisis” by provoking its ally Saudi Arabia to confront Tehran.
Just a day after new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Riyadh, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated longstanding calls for the U.S. to “leave” the Middle East, which he called Iran’s home, and said any power seeking to challenge Iran would be defeated, Reuters wrote.
“One of the ways to confront Iran is to provoke inexperienced rulers of the region,” he said, in an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia’s 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
“Americans are trying to provoke Saudi Arabia against Tehran … Their aim is to create more regional crisis … to push Muslims to fight against Muslims.”
“If these governments gain more wisdom, they will not confront Iran. If they confront Iran, they will be defeated.”
Khamenei’s comments were aired on national television only a day after Pompeo met Saudi King Salman in Riyadh.
Meanwhile, Pompeo stated on Sunday that the United States was worried by Iran’s “destabilizing and malign activities” in the Middle East.
However, Khamenei said Iran has no intention of limiting its influence in the Middle East.
“Americans are the ones who should leave … The Middle East, the west of Asia and the Persian Gulf is our home,” Khamenei said.
Tehran and Riyadh have been stuck in a proxy war, where both nations are fighting over who will have the regional supremacy from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon to Yemen.
U.S. President Donald Trump is supporting Saudi Arabia in its efforts to counter Iran’s influence.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signed a deal worth billions of dollars with Washington last month where he bought American military technology as part of his efforts to stabilize the region.