Iran should increase its military capability and readiness to ward off enemies, the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday.
His comments came in a meeting with Iranian navy commanders, Reuters reported, citing Khamenei’s official website.
“Increase your capability and readiness as much as you can so Iran’s enemies will not even dare threaten these great people,” Khamenei said, though he also stressed, “The Islamic Republic does not intend to start war with anyone.”
The Supreme Leader has upped his rhetoric in recent days. On Sunday, Khamenei took to Twitter where he belittled Israel and asserted that it “is clearly weaker than 10, 20 years ago.”
On Monday, he took to Twitter again to blast both Israel and the US.
“Today, to hell with the US and Zionist regime for threatening the Iranian nation. Their threats and atrocities have so far failed and will continue to fail; the sanctions will also be defeated by the grace of resistance,” he wrote.
While his comments on Wednesday’s do not mention a specific “enemy”, Reuters noted that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have increased in recent months as both countries compete for power and influence across the region.
The two countries support opposite sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen and different political factions in Iraq and Lebanon.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom’s neighbors.
Iran has fired back, accusing Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.
Last Friday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards detained a Saudi Arabian fishing boat and arrested its crew.