Saudi minister: Iran desperate to blame us for anything negative

Senior Saudi minister fires back after Iran's foreign minister claims Saudi Arabia played a role in elimination of senior nuclear scientist.

Elad Benari ,

Adel al-Jubeir
Adel al-Jubeir

A senior Saudi minister on Tuesday lashed out at Iran's foreign minister who had implied that Saudi Arabia played a role in the elimination of senior nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, AFP reports.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday asserted in a post on Instagram that a covert meeting in Saudi Arabia between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu contributed to the assassination, alleging it was a "conspiracy".

Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, on Tuesday fired back at Zarif.

"Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif is desperate to blame the kingdom for anything negative that happens in Iran. Will he blame us for the next earthquake or flood?" tweeted al-Jubeir.

"It is not the policy of Saudi Arabia to engage in assassinations," he added.

Iran has accused Israel of directing Fakhrizadeh’s death, calling the incident an act of "state terrorism".

Saudi Arabia has not formally condemned the assassination but other countries in the Middle East have, including the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain.

Saudi Arabia does not have ties with Israel and Saudi officials have repeatedly stressed that while the country backs full normalization with Israel, such a move must be preceded by a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority that results in a Palestinian state.

Riyadh has also denied that a meeting between Netanyahu and the Crown Prince took place.