Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused Saudi Arabia of double-crossing the Palestinians and betraying 1.6 billion Muslims by siding with the U.S. and Israel on regional affairs.
Despite Iran and Saudi Arabia’s decades-long proxy war of influence in the Middle East, revolutionary Shiite Muslim cleric Khamenei said Tuesday that his country was “ready to act brotherly even with those among the Muslims who were once openly hostile to Iran.”
He called on Muslim countries to unite against the U.S. and Israel’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a diplomatic earthquake that disregarded Palestinian claims to the city and upended an international consensus on its status.
Khamenei also accused Saudi Arabia of helping the US and the “Zionists”.
“This is certainly a betrayal of the Islamic Ummah and the Muslim World. We are ready to act brotherly even with those among the Muslims who were once openly hostile to Iran,” he said.
“The world of Islam, with such a large population and plenty of facilities, can certainly create a great power within the world and become influential through unity.”
“The warmongering among the world of Islam must be stopped and we should not allow that a safe haven be created for the Zionist regime,” he added.
Iran, a leading regional power, and Saudi Arabia, a key US ally, are dueling for influence in the Middle East, where they support opposing sides in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
US President Donald Trump said, on a visit to Jerusalem last year, that a shared concern about Iran was driving many Arab states closer to Israel.
An Israeli cabinet minister said in November that Israel had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran in a bid to increase pressure on the Tehran government.