Mohammed bin Salman
Mohammed bin Salman Reuters

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told The New York Times on Thursday that Iranian leader Ali Khamenei "the new Hitler of the Middle East."

Bin Salman, who also serves as Saudi Arabia's Defense Minister, said Islamic Republic's expansion "needs to be confronted."

"We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East," he said.

Earlier this month, Iran said Saudi Arabia "made a mistake" by choosing the US and Israel over Iran.

"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," Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Saudi Arabia. "The US and its allies mobilized all their possibilities and power, but they could do nothing."

The threats came one day after Saudi Arabia threatened to retaliate for an Iranian-built missile fired from Yemen at the Riyadh airport.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the firing of the missile was "a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime and could rise to be considered as an act of war."

Saudi Arabia "reserves its right to respond to Iran in the appropriate time and manner, in accordance with international law and based on the right of self-defense," the press agency added.