Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is blaming Iran for last week’s attack on two ships in the Gulf of Oman, calling on the international community to take a “firm stand towards an exponential regime that supports terrorism and spreads killing and destruction.”
Washington blames Tehran for the Thursday attacks on the tankers and accuses Iran of engaging in additional aggressive behavior before and after the incidents. Iran has vehemently denied any involvement, CNN reported.
In an interview with the Saudi-owned Arabic daily Al-Sharq Al-Awasat published Sunday, the crown prince — also known as MBS — asserted that Saudi Arabia “does not want a war in the region,” but stressed that the kingdom “will not hesitate in dealing with any threat to its people, sovereignty and vital interests.”
In reference to Thursday’s attack on two oil tankers along the Gulf of Oman, MBS told the Arabic daily that the Iranian regime disrespected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while he was a guest in Tehran by “answering his efforts with an attack on the two tankers, of which one is Japanese.”
The Saudi crown prince also added that the kingdom plays an important role in the international community by “securing the delivery of oil supplies to safeguard the stability of the international economy.” He also asserted that while he is certain that the kingdom’s strategic relations with the US would not be affected by “media campaigns or some stances here and there,” these campaigns “do not serve the common goals of our countries.”
In response to days of accusations, Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani accused the US of carrying out “acts of sabotage” against the two tankers in an effort to pressure Tehran, according to Iranian state-funded Press TV.
“Suspicious acts in the Sea of Oman against oil tankers… seem to be supplementary to the [US] economic sanctions as the Americans went nowhere with the sanctions, [also,] especially, given America’s historical record in the area [of false flag ops],” Larijani said during a parliamentary session on Sunday.
The country’s Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador to Tehran in “protest” at the UK’s stance on the attacks in the Gulf of Oman, state-run Press TV said Saturday.
In a statement Friday, Britain’s Foreign Office said it was “almost certain” that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were behind the attacks. The statement said no other state or non-state actor “could plausibly have been responsible.”
During the meeting, the British ambassador was asked to explain the UK’s “unacceptable position”, Press TV reported. “We remind the British government of the necessity to revise its approach and to adopt realistic positions based on the realities of Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies,” Head of the Europe Department at the Iranian Foreign Ministry Mahmoud Barimani said, according to Press TV.
President Donald Trump seems convinced that Tehran was responsible. “Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” he said, appearing to refer to the images and video released by the Pentagon late Thursday, CNN adds.