Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia presents Iran as an enemy because it wants to cover up its defeats in the region.

“Saudi Arabia was unsuccessful in Qatar, was unsuccessful in Iraq, in Syria and recently in Lebanon. In all of these areas they were unsuccessful,” Rouhani said in the live interview broadcast on state television. “So they want to cover up their defeats.”

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, “the new Hitler of the Middle East” in an interview with the New York Times published last week, escalating the war of words between the arch-rivals.

Saudi Arabia was unsuccessful in Qatar, was unsuccessful in Iraq, in Syria and recently in Lebanon… So they want to cover up their defeats.”

– Iranian President Hassan Rouhani 

Tensions soared this month when Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned in a television broadcast from Riyadh, citing the influence of Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon and risks to his life.

Hezbollah called the move an act of war engineered by Saudi authorities, an accusation they denied.

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Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia.