Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran are creeping ever higher, with the Saudi crown prince referring to Iran's supreme leader as "the new Hitler" in an interview with the New York Times. Mohammed bin Salman also suggested Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's influence in the Middle East needed to be curtailed. "We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn't work," he said. "We don't want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East," added Salman, who recently waged what he refers to as an anti-corruption campaign, though others say it's a move to consolidate power.
The harsh words ramp up friction between Saudi Arabia and Iran as each compete for power in the Middle East while funding opposing sides in civil wars in both Syria and Yemen, per the BBC. Reuters notes tensions already "soared" this month when Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while in Saudi Arabia, with which he is allied, blaming danger from Iran-backed Hezbollah. Hezbollah believes this is only an attempt by Saudi Arabia to start a war. Saudi Arabia says a missile fired toward Riyadh by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen on Nov. 4 represented a similar attempt by Iran. (Read more Saudi Arabia stories.)