Rouhani's response came in his press conference on Monday, after winning re-election with a firm 57% of the vote. "That's where the real fight is, not in Riyadh".
With Trump in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia on Sunday, King Salman described the Shiite regime in Iran as "the spearhead of global terrorism".
The Iranian leader, who was recently re-elected to serve a second term, also slammed a multibillion-dollar arms deal signed between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia during the visit, arguing that this would not solve the problem either. The Saudis, the newspaper says, helped block a Trump administration proposal to impose sanctions against a Saudi branch of ISIS: "The plan to add the Islamic State's Saudi affiliate to a U.N. list of terrorist groups was quietly killed two weeks ago in a bureaucratic maneuver at the U.N. Security Council, records show". The Saudis ordered over $100 billion of new weapons from USA companies during Trump's visit allowing him to present the meeting as a major success, Giraldi observed.
Brenner also noted that Trump, like Obama, did not appear to raise with the Saudis the issue of Saudi and other Gulf backing of the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) or of Saudi and Gulf support for similar groups like the Nusra Front in Syria. Giraldi described Trump's repeated hostile rhetoric against Iran in both Saudi Arabia and Israel a "depressing" indication of the likely future direction of United States policy in the Middle East.
Rouhani said that people in Saudi Arabia are there friends and they have always loved them and hoped the Saudi government to choose the right path.
He struck a confrontational tone towards Tehran - one which had been avoided by his White House predecessor, Barack Obama - accusing Iran of funding and arming extremist militants in Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. It is a view USA leader Donald Trump does not seem to share in his country's dealings with the Shiite Muslim nation, confrontation appearing to be his preferred approach. "Know that while there is a technical need to conduct missile tests, we will do so and we will ask the permission of no one".
In the final days of the presidential campaign, various worldwide media reports had indicated that Rouhani had re-fashioned himself in the image of a reformist, as part of an effort to overcome voter apathy in the wake of a first term that led to no significant change in the domestic situation. After being elected in 2013, he persuaded the Supreme Leader to shift responsibility for the nuclear negotiations to the Foreign Ministry and let Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif take the lead.
"Of all places, the U.S. president uses this bastion of democracy and moderation to attack Iran shortly after its democratic election", Zarif wrote on Twitter.
He reveals that Ali Khamenei was so scared of an uprising by the Iranian people, like those seen after the 2009 election, that he felt he could not name Ebrahim Raisi as the president, believing that Rouhani's "win" would sedate the Iranian people for now.