Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman hold their first EVER phone call – to discuss the ‘need to end war crimes against Palestine’
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had their first phone call on Wednesday to discuss the shocking Hamas attack in Israel that killed more than 1,200 people.
The conversation was the first between the two leaders since a China-brokered deal between Tehran and Riyadh to resume ties and came just hours after US President Joe Biden told Iran to be ‘careful’ in the aftermath of the attack.
The two leaders’ call came as Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a deadly attack by Palestinian Hamas militants in Israel.
Raisi and the Saudi crown prince discussed the “need to end war crimes against Palestine,” Iranian state media said.
The Saudi crown prince, for his part, “confirmed that the Kingdom is making all possible efforts to communicate with all international and regional parties to stop the ongoing escalation,” Saudi state news agency SPA said.
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Wednesday
He also reiterated Saudi Arabia’s rejection of targeting civilians in any way, SPA added.
Earlier on Wednesday, President Joe Biden sent a warning to Iran amid reports of their continued support of Hamas.
At least 1,200 Israelis were killed in Saturday’s carnage, which began when Hamas militants crossed into Israel from Gaza and killed people at a music festival and in their homes near the border.
“This attack was a campaign of pure cruelty, not just hate, but pure cruelty, against the Jewish people,” Biden said.
He added: ‘I never really thought I would see and confirm pictures of terrorists beheading children.’
Biden issued his first public warning to Iran since the Hamas attack on Israel as he faced mounting pressure to freeze $6 billion of Tehran’s assets.
“We made it clear to the Iranians: Be careful,” Biden said Wednesday during a meeting with Jewish leaders in the White House.
He also detailed a new arms shipment to Israel that includes interceptors for its Iron Dome defense system and ammunition for the Israel Defense Forces.
The discussion was the first between the two leaders since a China-brokered deal between Tehran and Riyadh to resume ties and came just hours after US President Joe Biden told Iran to be ‘careful’ in the wake of the attack
The call from the two leaders came as Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a deadly attack by Palestinian Hamas militants in Israel
After the horrific Hamas attack on Saturday, Biden made a brief three-minute statement before remaining publicly silent for three days.
In an emotional speech on Tuesday, he did not specifically mention Iran, but instead issued a general warning that no country or group should try to exploit the situation.
His comments on Wednesday were the first time he confronted Iran, which has long supported Hamas militarily and politically but denied prior knowledge of its attack on Israel.
Earlier this year, Biden unfroze $6 billion in Iranian funds in exchange for the release of a group of five American hostages.
Iran still doesn’t have access to the money, and Biden is facing urgent calls from Republicans and Democrats to freeze it again.
Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed in March to resume ties under a deal brokered by China after seven years of hostilities, which have threatened stability and security in the Gulf and helped fuel conflicts in the Middle East, from Yemen to Syria, to incite.
Asked about Raisi’s call with the crown prince, a senior US State Department official said Washington, which strongly supports Israel in its fight against Hamas, is in “constant contact with Saudi leaders.”
The official added that the US is asking its partners with channels or relations with Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah or Iran ‘to stop Hamas from its attacks, to release hostages, to keep Hezbollah out (and) Iran from the to fight.’
President Joe Biden issued a stark warning to Iran – his first since the Hamas attack on Israel – to be ‘careful’
A house was completely destroyed after it was burned by Hamas militants during the attack at Kibbutz Be’eri, near the border with Gaza on October 11, 2023 in Be’eri, Israel. Biden warned Iran and unnamed groups to avoid exploiting the aftermath
The two nations agreed in March to restore ties and reopen diplomatic missions in a surprise, Chinese-brokered announcement that could have wide implications across the Middle East.
In a trilateral statement, Shiite-majority Iran and mainly Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia said they would reopen embassies and missions within two months and implement security and economic cooperation agreements signed more than 20 years ago.
Riyadh severed ties after Iranian protesters attacked Saudi diplomatic missions in 2016 following the Saudi execution of revered Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr – just one in a series of flashpoints between the two longtime rivals.
The détente between Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, and Iran, a pariah to Western governments over its nuclear activities, has the potential to reshape relations across a region marked by decades of turmoil.
Iran and Saudi Arabia back rival sides in several conflict zones, including Yemen, where the Huthi rebels are backed by Tehran and Riyadh leads a military coalition that supports the government. The two parties are also competing for influence in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq.