Iran is on a 'rampage trying to expand,' says Saudi Arabia's foreign minister

  • Abel Al-Jubeir claims Iran has been a terrorist state since the revolution in 1979
  • Al-Jubeir refuses to deny that Saudi Arabia is working with Israel against Hezbollah

The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of being on a "rampage," saying its arch-regional rival is in a permanent state of revolution.

Relations between the two countries are at boiling point after Saudi Arabia accused Iran of being behind a ballistic missile attack on Saturday. The missile, which was fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen, was intercepted in flight near Riyadh's airport.

Speaking in Riyadh Thursday, the Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abel Al-Jubeir, said the incident was the latest in Iran's near 40-year record of terror.

"Iran is on a rampage and has been since the Khomeini revolution in 1979," said Al-Jubeir.

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Al-Jubeir said Iran had a track record of terrorism and assassinations that was unacceptable to many nations including Israel and the United States.

"The Iranians have to decide if they are a revolution or a nation state. So far they have decided they are a revolution, on a rampage trying to expand. And that is not acceptable," he added.

The foreign minister also refused to confirm or deny that Saudi Arabia is working with Israel to tackle the Iranian-backed political and militant group Hezbollah.

"I can't comment on rumors," Al-Jubeir said.

"What I do know is that Iran is an outlaw state and Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism, that Iran harbors terrorists and was in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden since the 1990s," he said.

Al-Jubeir claimed that al-Qaeda's "virtual board of directors" fled to Iran in 2002 and have been directing terror operations from the country ever since.

The foreign minister was himself the subject of a failed assassination attempt by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, but denied that his criticism of Tehran is in any way personal.