Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the country’s defence minister, said that any struggle for influence and power between the Sunni kingdom and the Shiite theocracy would be taking place within Iran’s borders, not Saudi Arabia’s.
He accused the Iranian Regime of attempting to control the Muslim World and spread their theocracy inside other countries because they want a “fertile environment” for the return of the prophet Imam Mahdi.
Under Iran’s constitution, since the 1979 takeover by the mullahs, the country’s supreme leader (currently Ali Khamenei) is the earthly representative of the Imam until his return.
Prince Mohammed said: “How do you have a dialogue with a regime built on an extremist ideology?”
He continued: “We know that the aim of the Iranian regime is to reach the focal point of Muslims (Mecca) and we will not wait until the fight is inside Saudi Arabia and we will work so that the battle is on their side, [and takes place] inside Iran, not in Saudi Arabia.”
In his nationally televised interview with Saudi-owned MBC television, Prince Mohammed noted that Saudi Arabia, which has a much larger military than Iran, has the power to crush the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen but that the cost would be heavy on both sides.
He said: “We can uproot the Houthis and Saleh in a matter of days. We can mobilise Saudi land forces alone in days but the casualties in our forces will be in the thousands and the other result will be Yemeni civilian casualties in high numbers.”
The Prince advised that the Saudis would be stopping supplies from entering the region and waiting until the Houthis surrounded.
The Yemeni civil war, which has currently caused more than 10,000 deaths in its two years according to the United Nations, is just one of three Middle Eastern conflicts that Saudi Arabia and Iran are on different sides of; the others being Syria and Iraq.
In Syria, the Saudis support the resistance forces who are hoping to depose the brutal dictator, Bashar al-Assad, while the Iranians are propping up his Regime. In Iraq, whilst technically both fighting ISIS; Iran is using the Battle for Mosul as an attempt to gain power for itself.