Iran has compared Saudi Arabia’s effective ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to an ant about to die because of its arrogant delusions.

The regional battle between the two sides has ratcheted up this week with harsh statements and escalation in Yemen’s civil war, with the Saudis accusing Iran of supplying missiles fired by Ansar Allah (Houthi) insurgents on Riyadh.

See Iran Daily, March 30: Tehran Hits Back Over Yemen

In an interview on Thursday, during his extended visit to the US, Mohammad bin Salman said tougher sanctions must be imposed on the Islamic Republic: “We must achieve this in order to avoid a military conflict, if we fail to do this, we will probably have a war with Iran in 10-15 years.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi responded by reciting a verse from a 13th-century poem: “The ant seeking to grapple with an eagle is hastening to perish.”

He asked Persian linguists in the al-Saud royal family to translate the verse accuately for the Crown Prince, and to tell him about the fate of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in the face of the “brave Iranian nation’s resolve”.

“This delusional novice, who is still too big for his boots, either does not know what war is, or has not studied history, or unfortunately has not talked to a venerable person,” Qassemi said.