Speaking to the Economist, Muhammad bin Salman said: “Whoever is pushing towards that is somebody who is not in their right mind. Because a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the beginning of a major catastrophe in the region, and it will reflect very strongly on the rest of the world. For sure we will not allow any such thing.”
The two countries are balancing on the brink of a major conflict after Riyadh executed a prominent Shiite cleric, leading to an angry mob’s assault on the Saudi consulate in Tehran.
The Saudi defense minister strongly believes that Riyadh was acting within its rights and in accordance with due legal procedure when it executed Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on terrorism charges on January 2.
“What has this to do with Iran? If this proves anything it proves that Iran is keen on extending its influence over the countries of the region,” he said, stressing that by pulling out its diplomats from Iran, Riyadh actually saved Tehran from undergoing “embarrassment” in case the mob that attacked the Saudi embassy caused harm to diplomats and members of their families.
© Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters