Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 30 May 2020

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman rules out dialogue with Iran

In a television interview broadcast on Tuesday, the Saudi deputy crown prince and defence minister said it was impossible to talk with a power that was planning for the return of the Imam Mahdi.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured here in Riyadh on April 11, 2017, said in a television interview on May 2, 2017 that his country could crush Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court / Handout via Reuters / File Photo
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, pictured here in Riyadh on April 11, 2017, said in a television interview on May 2, 2017 that his country could crush Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court / Handout via Reuters / File Photo

Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and defence minister has ruled out any dialogue with Iran, a country he said was busy plotting to control the Muslim world.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a television interview broadcast on Tuesday that his country could crush Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen where a Saudi-led military coalition is fighting to restore the government of president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

Asked if Saudi Arabia was ready to open a direct dialogue with Tehran, Prince Mohammed said it was impossible to talk with a power that was planning for the return of the Imam Mahdi. Shiites believe Imam Mahdi was a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed who went into hiding 1,000 years ago and will return to establish global Islamic rule before the end of the world.

“How do you have a dialogue with this (Iran)?” Prince Mohammed said.

“Its (Iran’s) logic is that the Imam Mahdi will come and they must prepare the fertile environment for the arrival of the awaited Mahdi and they must control the Muslim world.”

Under Iran’s constitution, in place since the 1979 revolution, the country’s supreme leader is the earthly representative of the Imam until his return.

Asked to respond to reports that Yemen’s Houthi rebels still control large swathes of the country and large quantities of weapons, Prince Mohammed said: “We can uproot the Houthis and Saleh in a matter of days.”

* Reuters

Updated: May 2, 2017 04:00 AM

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