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Bin Salman Warns of Escalation with Iran

Monday 30 September 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warned in an interview broadcast on Sunday that oil prices could spike to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world does not come together to deter Iran, but said he would prefer a political solution to a military one.

Speaking to the CBS program “60 Minutes”, Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, warned:

If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests.

[…]

Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

Bin Salman said he agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Sept. 14 attacks, which damaged the world’s biggest petroleum-processing facility and knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply, were an act of war by Iran. But he said he preferred a peaceful resolution because a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would collapse the global economy.

The United States, European powers along with Saudi Arabia have blamed the attacks on Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement. Instead, the Iran-aligned Yemeni Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility.

Bin Salman repeated a Saudi call for Iran to halt its support for Houthi forces in Yemen and said he was open to “all initiatives for a political solution” to end the war there.

The Crown Prince also said that US President Donald Trump should meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to reach a new agreement on Tehran’s nuclear programme and its influence in the Middle East.


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