Taking a swipe at Saudi prince, Khamenei calls negotiating with Israel 'big mistake'

In a thinly-veiled swipe at Saudi Arabia's crown prince, who recently recognized Israel's right to live in its homeland, Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei has warned against negotiations with Israel, saying it should be dealt with only by "a continuous battle."
Mohammed bin Salman (left) and Ali Khamenei Photo credit: Youtube/Kremlin

Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei says negotiating with Israel is "an unforgivable mistake," responding to remarks by Saudi Arabia's crown prince, who recently recognized Israel's right to live in its homeland alongside a Palestinian state.

"Advancing toward negotiations with this deceitful, lying and oppressing regime would be a big and unforgivable mistake that would delay the victory of the Palestinian people," Khamenei said in a statement published on his official website. He urged Muslims to support the Palestinian "resistance movements," namely Hamas.

In an interview with The Atlantic earlier this week, Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's reformist crown prince and its de facto leader, became the first Arab leader to recognize Israel's right to its homeland. "I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation," he said. "I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land."

As the largest Shiite nation, Iran is widely considered the biggest rival of Sunni Saudi Arabia. The fact that Iran is a common enemy of Israel and Saudi Arabia has helped thaw their bilateral ties. Though the Kingdom still does not officially recognize Israel, reports of back-channel talks between Jerusalem and Riyadh have been semi-confirmed by Israeli officials.

In the same interview, bin Salman said Khamenei "makes Hitler look good" and called him "the Hitler of the Middle East."

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