Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman has rejected the possibility of normalization of ties with Iran, after Tehran announces the possibility of deescalation if Riyadh halts Yemen bombardment.
“How do you have a dialogue with this (Iran)?,” said the Saudi King’s son on Tuesday during a televised interview.
He stressed that talks with Iran were impossible as Tehran’s goal was to “control the Muslim world.”
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Islamic Republic was ready to normalize ties with Riyadh if the Kingdom halted its bombardment of Yemen and stopped supporting extremist groups.
“If the Saudi government abandons its short-sighted policies, its support for Takfiri and extremist groups, and the war on Yemeni people, we are ready to help Iran-Saudi relations move in a constructive direction,” he said.
Bin Salman further stressed that Riyadh could crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement fighting Saudi forces in Yemen via a land offensive. He, however, noted that such a move would kill a large number of Saudi troops and civilians. “Time is on our side. Patience is on our side,” he added.
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Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to bring back to power the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expense.
The military aggression has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, most of them civilians.