President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has tasked Saudi Arabia over its friendship with Israel and demanded for the severance of ties if their countries must restore their relationship severed in heat of the 2016 Saudi execution of a Shiite cleric.
Speaking at a parliamentary meeting, he said the Islamic Republic would “have no problem” with Saudi Arabia if it stops “bowing to Israel” and relies on itself.
“We want Saudi Arabia to stop two things, the misguided friendship with Israel and the inhuman bombardment of Yemen,” he stressed.
The firing of a ballistic missile at Riyadh by the Houthis in November led to renewed tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Rouhani’s remarks came amid media reports that Riyadh has been seeking closer ties with Israel in a bid to counter the rising influence of Iran, a common enemy to Saudi and Israel.
On Nov. 25, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman compared Iran’s growing regional influence to Germany’s hegemonic policies in the Hitler era.
“We learned from Europe that appeasement would not work. We do not want the new Hitler of Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East,” he said.
A Saudi-led military coalition has been fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015 to support President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by the Houthis in September 2014.
The Houthis have seized control of much of Yemen’s northern areas, including the capital Sanaa since 2014.