Saudi Crown Prince calls Iran’s Supreme the “new Hitler of the Middle East”

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince called the Supreme Leader of Iran “the new Hitler of the Middle East” in an interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, sharply escalating the war of words between the arch-rivals.

Mohammed bin Salman, who is also Saudi defense minister in the U.S.-allied oil giant kingdom, suggested the Islamic Republic’s expansion under Ayatollah Ali Khamenei needed to be confronted.

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“But 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,” the paper quoted him as saying.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shi‘ite theocracy Iran back rival sides in wars and political crises throughout the region.

Relations between the two nations have raged amid the ongoing civil war in Yemen in which they back different sides.