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Saudis Slam Iranian Comments As 'Hostile,' 'Aggressive'

Saudi Arabia July 27 denounced as "aggressive" and "hostile" recent statements by Iran, in an intensification of verbal sparring between the regional rivals.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir took issue with statements by Iranian ministers July 25 accusing Saudi ally Bahrain of making "unfounded allegations" to foment "tension in the region."

Iran was responding to an announcement by Bahrain that it was detaining two men for trying to smuggle weapons from Iran.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was visiting Kuwait at the time, dismissed Bahrain's claims as "baseless" and said the island nation was trying to prevent cooperation between Iran and other Gulf states.

Then, Zarif took a direct jab at Saudi Arabia, declaring that "some countries...want conflict and war in this region."

Jubeir called Iran's statements "unacceptable" and said: "This does not represent the intentions of a country seeking good relations."

Jubeir spoke at a news conference with European Union foreign minister Federica Mogherini, who visited Riyadh to try to soothe the kingdom's concerns over the Iran's nuclear deal with global powers.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP