Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, on Monday denounced what he called "aggressive statements" by Iran, intensifying the verbal sparring between the regional rivals after a global deal on Tehran's nuclear program, AFP reported.
On Sunday, Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Saudi ally Bahrain of making "unfounded allegations" to foment "tension in the region", after the interior ministry in Manama said it had detained two men accused of trying to smuggle weapons from Iran.
"This does not represent the intentions of a country seeking good relations," al-Jubeir said of the Iranian comments.
"These statements are escalating and they are many," he charged, according to AFP.
Also Sunday, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Kuwait that "some countries… want conflict and war in this region", a direct reference to Saudi Arabia without naming the kingdom.
Zarif dismissed as "baseless" Bahrain's claims about the weapons, calling the timing of the announcement an attempt "to prevent any progress in cooperation" with Gulf states.
Jubeir said recent comments by Iranian officials show their interference in the region and are "unacceptable to us".
The back and forth between Iran and Saudi Arabia illustrates the concern among Arab countries by the deal with Iran.
Riyadh and its fellow Sunni-dominated neighbors accuse their Shiite regional rival Iran of meddling in Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.
The Sunni states have also been expressing their concern about the terms of the deal with Iran, warning that a final agreement could allow Iran to keep the technologies needed to produce nuclear weapons.
Saudi Arabia’s opposition to the deal was so great that in May, when Saudi King Salman decided not to attend a summit at Camp David with U.S. President Barack Obama, the move was seen as a snub of Washington due to the talks with Iran.
After the deal between Iran and the West was signed, al-Jubeir publicly warned Iran not to use the nuclear deal to pursue "adventures" in the Middle East, advising it to use the deal to improve its own economic situation.