Top Iran official: ‘Weak and insignificant’ Saudis and Israelis pose no threat

Ali Akbar Velyati, aide to Iranian’s supreme leader Kohmeni, warns Riyadh against ‘collaboration with the Zionists,’ which he says has been ongoing since 1948

Screen capture from video of Ali Akbar Velyati, top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khameni. (YouTube)
Screen capture from video of Ali Akbar Velyati, top adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khameni. (YouTube)

A top aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Sunday scoffed at the idea of an Israeli-Saudi alliance to thwart Tehran, saying the countries were too puny and inconsequential to post any danger to Iran.

Ali Akbar Velyati told reporters in Tehran that Israel and Saudi Arabia were no threat as both were “weak and insignificant,” the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The adviser added that alleged cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, though only recently highlighted in media reports, has been going on for ever since Israel was established in 1948.

Saudi Arabia does not official recognize Israel, yet the two countries share mutual fears of Iranian hegemony in the region.

“They think that they can move against Iran in collaboration with the Zionists but if the Zionists were powerful at all they would not erect walls around their settlements,” Velyati added.

It was not clear from the report if Velyati was referring to Israel’s settlements in the West Bank that often have security fences around them, or to Israel’s security barrier that roughly follows the so-called Green Line separating the West Bank from pre-1967 Israel.

Velyati also rejected claims made last week by US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that a missile fired by Yemeni rebels at Riyadh airport on November 4 was “made in Iran.”

Haley, he said, is just like US President Donald Trump who who only utters “baseless and ridiculous” words.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has not supplied Yemen with any missile at all,” he asserted.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley points to previously classified missile segments she says prove Iran violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 by providing the Houthi rebels in Yemen with arms, during a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia in Washington, DC, on December 14, 2017. (AFP Photo/Jim Watson)

Haley said last week Washington had “undeniable” evidence that at least two missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by the Yemeni rebel Houthis as well as other weaponry had been manufactured in Iran.

But her comments went beyond the findings of a UN investigation which reached no firm conclusion on whether the missiles came from an Iranian supplier, saying only that they had a “common origin” to some Iranian designs.

Saudi Arabia, which has led a military intervention in Yemen with US backing since March 2015, on Friday demanded immediate action against its regional arch rival Iran over the alleged missile deliveries. Iran has denied it supplied the missiles.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after Iranian demonstrators attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in response to the Saudi execution of a prominent Shiite dissident cleric. Tensions spiked again last month after the Houthis fired the ballistic missile that was intercepted near Riyadh.

The IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot said last month that Israel and Saudi Arabia were in “total agreement” that Iran was the greatest threat to the Middle East.

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