Iran has stepped up its warning to Saudi Arabia, in an escalation of threats between Riyadh and Tehran.
The head of the Iranian armed forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri (pictured), sent a message on Monday to Iran’s foes against “any mistakes in calculation or the smallest act of aggression against the establishment and the Muslim territory”.
He said that any trangression would bring an “immediate, decisive, and crushing response in the points that we determine, will bring about their regret and defeat”.
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia over regional issues, including the Yemeni civil war and the Syrian crisis, rose further last week with comments by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is also Defense Minister. Rejecting an offer of better relations if Riyadh ended its military intervention in Yemen, he accused Iran of seeking to “control the Muslim world” and said, “We will work to have the battle in Iran rather than in Saudi Arabia.”
The Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, responded on Sunday, “We warn them against doing anything ignorant, but if they do something ignorant, we will leave nowhere untouched apart from Mecca and Medina.”
Baqeri said yesterday that enemies, like “cowardly thieves and bandits”, were trying to make up for their failures through the hiring of “terrorists” to target Iran’s borders or interests. He said the efforts would end in “humiliation and ignominy”.
Extending his challenge, he turned to Pakistan, saying the border area has “unfortunately” turned into a haven and training ground for “Saudi-hired terrorists, who enjoy the US endorsement”.
Last week, 10 Iranian border guards were killed in a clash with the Jaish ul-Adl insurgency, which is pursuing attacks in southeastern Iran. The insurgents escaped into Pakistan after the fighting.
Baqeri said Iran “cannot accept the continuation of this situation”:
We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases.
If the terrorist attacks continue, we will deal crushing blows to their safe havens and cells, wherever they are.