Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, now touring the United States, must balance animosity towards Iran with the need for stability as he pitches the kingdom's economic transformation plan to foreign investors and drums up support for containing Iran's regional influence.
The Shi'ite Houthis, who control northern Yemen, deny close ties to Iran, and have insisted in the past that missiles fired at Saudi Arabia are part of Yemen's pre-war stockpile, and retaliation for Saudi airstrikes.
Saudi King Salman, in comments carried by state media, pledged on Tuesday to "firmly and decisively thwart any hostile attempts" targeting the kingdom's security and stability.
Saudi Arabia is leading a mostly Arab military coalition to fight Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015.
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We "reserve the right to respond against Iran at the right time and right place", coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki told a news conference.. "You can't really deny this anymore once the components these things are made with are traced to Iranian distributors".
"If Iran is genuinely committed to supporting a political solution in Yemen - as it has publicly stated - then it should stop sending in weapons which prolong the conflict, fuel regional tensions, and pose threats to global peace and security", they claimed in the joint statement.
"It is not the first time Saudi Arabia enters into correspondence against Iran in order to cover up its defeats in Yemen, and the worldwide community is well aware of this fact", Khoshrou was quoted as saying by Iran's state TV. They were once strong enough to force the legitimate government to flee, but the Saudi-led Arab coalition has weakened them.
Iran basically believes in no other solution than a political one to the conflict in Yemen, he said. By turning up the heat on Iran, the Trump administration can provoke the regime in Tehran to increase its engagement in conflicts across the broader Middle East that have already intensified in risky ways over the past five years. The United Nations said that blockade raised the danger of mass starvation, and it was partially lifted.
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"My concern is that they could be tempted to take some action directly against some Iranian target, and that any such course of action could escalate further". "He tried to convince me that Israel should attack Iran".
Analysts said that while a direct Saudi-Iranian showdown is unlikely, miscalculation remains a risk.
Khoshrou called on the Muslin world and the worldwide community to pressure Saudi Arabia to stop war in Yemen.
The top general said the Yemeni nation has come under military aggression, and hence, it is resisting the aggressors.
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Investors may have already largely priced in risks from Houthi missile strikes.