Riyadh Denies Involvement in Iran Tanker Attack

Saudi Arabia said it had no involvement in Friday’s attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea that caused a spike of more than 2% in crude prices, Bloomberg reported.

“We don’t engage in such behavior,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said in Riyadh Sunday. “Besides, there are conflicting reports about this,” he said, referring to initial Iranian claims of an attack coming from the direction of Saudi Arabia, and the subsequent withdrawal of that accusation.

The incident, the latest in a series of strikes on oil infrastructure in the region that have roiled energy markets, comes weeks after a devastating attack on major Saudi oil facilities that Riyadh blamed on Tehran, Bloomberg adds.

Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani warned Sunday it would be “a big mistake” to think his country won’t respond to threats after a mysterious attack on one of its oil tankers.

“If a country thinks that it can create instability in the region without getting a response, that would be a sheer mistake,” Rouhani said, without pinning the blame on any specific country, AP adds.

Tensions in the region have been high for months, following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose crushing sanctions that target Iran’s crude oil sales and have crippled its economy. Those sanctions came after Trump unilaterally withdrew the U.S. from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers last year.

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