Riyadh (Reuters): Saudi Arabia’s powerful deputy crown prince has ruled out any dialogue with Iran, a country he said was busy plotting to control the Muslim world.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi defence minister, said in a TV interview to be broadcast later on Tuesday his country could crush Iran-aligned fighters in Yemen where Saudi forces head a coalition of Gulf Arab states intervening in a civil war.
Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran compete for influence in the Middle East, supporting rival groups in Syria’s civil war. In Yemen, Iran denies providing financial or military support to the Houthis who are fighting government forces allied with Saudi Arabia.
Asked to respond to reports that after two years of war and Saudi’s military intervention the Houthis, aligned to ex-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, still control large swathes of Yemen and large quantities of weapons, Prince Mohammed said:
“We can uproot the Houthis and Saleh in a matter of days.”
In the clips available in advance of the broadcast he did not elaborate on the Saudi strategy for Yemen.