Middle East/North Africa

Foreign minister warns Saudi Arabia will defend itself ‘with all force and determination’

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A top Saudi official has said that the kingdom does not want war, but warned that it would defend itself defend itself “with all force and determination” against Iran if necessary as tensions rise between the Middle Eastern powers. 

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want war in the region and does not strive for that… but at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination and it will defend itself, its citizens and its interests,” said Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, according to the Associated Press

His comments follow attacks on four oil tankers, two of which were Saudi, near the United Arab Emirates’s coast.  It also follows an attack on a Saudi oil pipeline that was claimed by Yemeni rebels that are allies of Iran. Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for the attack, but Tehran has denied training the rebels or giving them weapons.{mosads}

“We want peace and stability in the region, but we won’t stand with our hands bound as the Iranians continuously attack. Iran has to understand that,” al-Jubeir said. “The ball is in Iran’s court.”

A top Iranian military official also reportedly said Sunday that Iran does not want war. 

Tensions have flared between the U.S. and Iran in recent weeks as well. Last week, President Trump denied a report that his team preparing to send 120,000 troops to the Middle East but said he would send more if he had to. He also said he did not want war with Iran.

The State Department last week evacuated non-emergency personnel from the neighboring country of Iraq.

Tags Donald Trump Iran Saudi Arabia
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