The media speculations of Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Saudi counterpart Adel al-Jubeir allegedly trading accusations at a conference in Italy is nothing but "a blatant news fabrication," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi has stated as quoted by Press TV.
The statement comes after reports claimed that during the Mediterranean Dialogues (MED) summit in Italy, the two top officials had engaged in an acrimonious back and forth, blaming each other for meddling in regional affairs.
Jubeir allegedly lashed out at Iran over its "negative influence throughout the region," while Zarif responded by accusing Saudi Arabia of violating the truce efforts in Syria and Lebanon, sponsoring Daesh and imposing a blockade on Qatar.
However, according to the Iranian ministry's spokesman, the two top diplomats had adressed the conference on two different days.
Riyadh-Tehran ties have remained tense since Saudi Arabia broke off diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after attacks on its diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad, provoked by the execution of top Iranian Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, along with 42 other people convicted of terrorism, by Riyadh.
Most recently, during an interview with The New York Times, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei the "new Hitler of the Middle East," prompting Tehran's harsh response.