You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Saudi calls for calm after 'very dangerous' escalation in US-Iran tensions

"It's certainly a very dangerous moment," Prince Faisal told reporters in Riyadh

Topics
US air strike on Iran | US-Iran | US saudi relations

AFP | PTI  |  Riyadh 

rotesters demonstrate over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 3, 2020.
rotesters demonstrate over the U.S. airstrike in Iraq that killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 3, 2020. Photo: PTI

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister on Monday appealed for calm after a "very dangerous" escalation following the killing of a top Iranian general in a US drone strike.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan's appeal came as the US warned that Saudi Arabia faced a "heightened risk" of missile and drone attacks after Tehran vowed to avenge last week's assassination of Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.

"It's certainly a very dangerous moment," Prince Faisal told reporters in Riyadh.

"We hope that all actors take all the steps necessary to prevent any further escalation and provocation." Prince Faisal spoke after a meeting of foreign ministers of Arab and African coastal states, including Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, aimed at enhancing regional security, Saudi state media reported.

The killing of Soleimani, seen as the second most powerful man in Iran, is the most dramatic escalation yet in spiralling tensions between Washington and Tehran, prompting fears of a major conflict in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both allies of Washington, are vulnerable to Iranian counter strikes.

A string of attacks on Gulf oil tankers last year that were blamed on Iran, despite its denials, has raised tensions.

Strikes against Saudi oil installations in September also led Riyadh and Abu Dhabi to adopt a more conciliatory approach aimed at avoiding confrontation with Tehran.

Saudi King Salman emphasised the need for measures to defuse tensions in a phone call at the weekend with Iraqi President Barham Saleh.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has instructed Prince Khalid bin Salman, the deputy defence minister, to travel to Washington and London to urge restraint, the pan-Arab Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported this week.

Prince Khalid will meet White House and US defence officials, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.

The US embassy in Riyadh has warned its citizens that military bases and energy facilities, particularly in the kingdom's oil-rich Eastern Province and areas near the Yemeni border, are vulnerable to missile and drone attacks.

Yemen's pro-Iran Huthi rebels, locked in a five-year conflict with a Saudi-led military coalition, have also called for swift reprisals for Soleimani's killing.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, January 06 2020. 20:10 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.