Khamenei: Saudi ties with Zionist regime a stab in the back to Muslims

Iranian supreme leader says US behind warning Saudi ties with Israel and "aggression" in Yemen.

August 1, 2016 15:15
1 minute read.
 Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (photo credit: LEADER.IR / AFP)


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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei slammed Saudi Arabia on Monday for allegedly tightening its ties with Israel.

"Revelation of Saudi government’s relations with Zionist regime was stab in the back of Islamic Ummah," Khamenei tweeted.

While Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have formal relations, media reports have suggested that common interests, such as a fear of Iran's nuclear program and Tehran's efforts to gain influence in the Middle East, have drawn the Kingdom and the Jewish state closer together.

Former Saudi general Anwar Eshki visited Israel last month, meeting with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold and a number of Israeli MKs.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted repeatedly about covert ties with the Sunni Arab world based on common interests, such as the fight against extremism.

Khamenei suggested that the Saudi move to warm up to Israel, as well as the Kingdom's involvement in Yemen's conflict, were being guided by the United States.

"Today, #Saudi government is in hands of unwise people, but close scrutiny shows US hands are behind all these issues," he tweeted.

The reported warming of ties with Israel that brought criticism from Khamenei, was also condemned by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah on Friday.

Nasrallah called the developing ties "the current worst development in the Arab sphere."

"This normalization of relations would benefit Israel - free of charge," Nasrallah said.

He said the Arab world is experiencing its worst moments in history, while Saudi Arabia is "creating contact, normalizing relations, acknowledging the existence of Israel - and then cooperating with it."

"Even a Saudi Fatwa is prepping the grounds for normalization," he said. "All the while, Saudi Arabia continues its regional wars and refuses contact with Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain."

Yasser Okbi contributed to this report.

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