Saudi crown prince: Iran’s ayatollah the ‘new Hitler of the Middle East’

by Ben Kew

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the “new Hitler of the Middle East” to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in an interview published Thursday.

“[Iran’s] supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” the prince, commonly referred to by his initials MBS, said in the lengthy interview. “We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

Iran has a long history of sponsoring or promoting terrorism across the Middle East, dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

MBS’s comments come amid escalating tensions between the two countries after Saudi Arabia says its forces intercepted a missile fired from Yemen targeting one of its major airports, which authorities have described as a “blatant act of military aggression” by Iran, acting through its Yemeni proxies.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to the “adventurist” crown prince by accusing him of “immature, inconsiderate, and baseless remarks and behavior,” multiple agencies reported.

“No one in the world and in the international arena gives credit to him because of his immature and weak-minded behavior and remarks,” Qasemi said. “I strongly advise him to think and ponder upon the fate of the famous dictators of the region in the past few years now that he is thinking of considering their policies and behavior as a role model.”

During the interview, the Prince also outlined his country’s latest anti-corruption purge, in which around 200 elites –including princes, ministers, and business tycoons—were arrested or fired in recent weeks.