TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry dismissed recent claims by Saudi ambassador to the US against Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as “empty and ridiculous”.

The Foreign Ministry, in a statement released on Thursday, rejected Saudi Ambassador to the US Khalid bin Salman’s claims against the Iranian top diplomat and said the remarks are “so ridiculous that they do not merit a comment”.

It should just be noted that the Saudis and their “rookie” ambassador cannot count on their “forlorn attempts” to create discord and continue anti-Iran centers’ propaganda campaign aimed at undermining the country’s national unity, the statement said.

“The Iranian nation knows its committed and patriotic officials well and does not care about such foolish and flimsy allegations and lies as well as outdated methods designed by their 'thoughtless rooms' (think tanks) and then published by certain anti-Iran media outlets,” the ministry concluded.

In an article full of anti-Iran remarks published by Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday, the Saudi ambassador claimed that Zarif “desperately attempts to present a moderate face outside his country.”

Relations between Tehran and Riyadh have strained over the past years after their conflicting views on regional developments, particularly on Yemen and Syria, became more noticeable.

The relations further deteriorated after a crush of pilgrims in Mina, near Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, in September 2015, which killed over 7,000 Hajj pilgrims, including 465 Iranians.

Tehran has blamed the deaths on the Al Saud’s mismanagement of the Hajj pilgrimage and criticized Riyadh for “lack of cooperation” on restoring the rights of families of the victims.