Iran: Saudi Arabia making a mistake by choosing Israel

Amidst escalation in Iran-Saudi tensions, Iranian President says it is a mistake for Saudi Arabia to choose US and Israel over Iran.

Tal Polon ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia is making a “strategic mistake and miscalculation” by choosing ties with the US and Israel over ties with Iran, according to Iranian news outlets.

“You are well aware of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s power and position, and powers bigger than you have not been able to do anything against the Iranian nation,” Rouhani warned Saudi Arabia. The US and its allies mobilized all their possibilities and power, but they could do nothing.”

The comments came amidst a recent escalation in tensions between Middle East rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Over the weekend, a ballistic missile was fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia’s international airport in Riyadh. The missile traveled over 500 miles before being shot down over Saudi Arabian territory.

In an interview with CNN, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir said that Iran-backed Hezbollah was behind the attack, which he called “an act of war.”

"It was an Iranian missile, launched by Hezbollah, from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen."

“We see this as an act of war,” he explained. “Iran can not lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns and expect us not to take steps.”

On Saturday, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri unexpectedly announced his resignation, citing Iran's "grip" on the country and threats to his life.

"I announce my resignation from the post of prime minister," he said in a speech broadcast from Saudi Arabia by the Al-Arabiya news network.

He said that he felt his life was “being targeted,” noting the threat of the Hezbollah terror group backed by Iran.

"In recent years, Hezbollah has used the power of its weapons to impose a fait accompli."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded to Hariri's resignation on Saturday night, saying, "The resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri and his remarks are a wake-up call to the international community to take action against the Iranian aggression that is trying to turn Syria into a second Lebanon.”

“This aggression endangers not only Israel but the entire Middle East. The international community needs to unite and confront this aggression," he added.

Also following the resignation, the Israeli Foreign Ministry reportedly took the unusual step of asking Israeli ambassadors around the world to convey a message of support for Saudi Arabia to their respective host countries.

"The events in Lebanon and the launching of a ballistic missile at the international airport in Riyadh show that increased pressure is required on Iran and Hezbollah on a range of issues from the production of ballistic missiles to regional subversion," The Ministry reportedly said.