Rand Paul became the first presidential candidate Sunday to directly fault American ally Saudi Arabia's recent execution of 47 people.

"We continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia, which continues to be sort of an arsonist in that region, fanning the flames," Paul told host Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press," a day after Iranians lit the Saudi embassy in Tehran on fire in retaliation for the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others.

Paul also used the Saudi criticism to fault President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

"My foreign policy is quite a bit different. I also don't believe in giving foreign [aid] to people who are enemies, and supplying weapons to the allies of al Qaeda, as Obama has," Paul said.

"President Obama and Hillary Clinton both supported arming the Syrian rebels, the Islamic rebels, against [Syrian President Bashar] Assad. I wouldn't have done that," Paul said.

Trailing in polls, and accused by base supporters of softening his foreign policy views in a bid to broaden his appeal, Paul appears to be returning to his noninterventionist roots in the final stretch of the primary campaign.

"While Obama gets blamed for not intervening enough, he's actually intervened quite a bit in the Middle East. And I think not to our benefit," Paul said.