Saudi Arabia on Saturday blamed Iran for attacks on its oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. On Thursday, two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, while four others had been targeted off the coast of the United Arab Emirates last month. The United States has also blamed Iran for attacks on its oil tankers.
“We do not want a war in the region... but we won’t hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our vital interests,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman told the pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, BBC reported. “The Iranian regime did not respect the Japanese prime minister’s visit to Tehran,” he added. “While he was there [it] replied to his efforts by attacking two tankers, one of which was Japanese.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had visited Tehran last week.
Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih earlier on Saturday urged a “rapid and decisive response to the threat” posed to the country’s market stability, energy supplies and consumer confidence after the attacks, Al Jazeera reported quoting the Saudi Energy Ministry on Twitter.
The UAE also asked world powers for help to secure maritime traffic and energy suppliers. “The international community must cooperate to secure international navigation and access to energy,” UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said at a summit in Bulgaria.
The United Nations had on Friday called for an independent inquiry into all the oil tanker attacks. United Nations Secretary-General Antonoi Guterres asked for the investigation after the United States blamed Iran for the attacks.
United States President Donald Trump on Friday declared that the attacks on the two oil tankers had “Iran written all over it”. Trump was referring to a video that the United States military released purportedly showing an Iranian patrol boat removing “an unexploded limpet mine” from one of the oil tankers. Iran has, however, refuted the allegations and said that it had nothing to do with the attacks.