Saudi Arabia says it seeks to avert war, ball in Iran's court

Saudi Arabia says it seeks to avert war, ball in Iran's court

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that it wants to avert war in the region but stands ready to respond with “all strength” following last week’s attacks on Saudi oil assets, telling Iran that the ball was now in its court, Reuters reports.

Riyadh has accused Tehran of ordering Tuesday’s drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group. Two days earlier, four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

Iran has denied involvement in either operation, which come as Washington and the Islamic Republic spar over sanctions and the U.S. military presence in the region, raising concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want a war in the region nor does it seek that,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir told a news conference.

“It will do what it can to prevent this war and at the same time it reaffirms that in the event the other side chooses war, the kingdom will respond with all force and determination, and it will defend itself and its interests.”

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