Saudi Arabia at U.N.: We’ll stop at nothing to defend against Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that he believed his military restraint so far showed "strength," as he instead imposed another round of economic sanctions on Tehran.

September 29, 2019 00:27
2 minute read.
Saudi Arabia at U.N.: We’ll stop at nothing to defend against Iran

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman attends a signing ceremony between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (not pictured) at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Saudi Arabia warned that it would take all actions necessary to defend itself against Iran, as it called on the international community to unite against Tehran’s aggression.

“My country, the land of the two holy mosques... has never promoted war, but it will stop at nothing to defend its holy sites and its sovereignty,” Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz al-Assaf told the UN General Assembly on Thursday.

Assaf focused the bulk of his comments on Iran, which Saudi Arabia holds responsible for the September 14 attack on its oil facilities.

“The reprehensible attacks on the kingdom’s oil facilities by 25 cruise missiles and drones cut oil production by almost half: that is equivalent to 5.7 million barrels [per day],” Assaf said.

Such an attack has consequences that reach far beyond Saudi Arabia, he added, saying that Iran constitutes “a significant threat to global oil supplies.”

The Islamic Republic is ruled by a “rogue and terror regime” that has jeopardized world energy supplies and the world’s economy,” Assaf said.

All nations must stand up against Iran, particularly by imposing sanctions upon it. The “recent attacks are a real test of the international community’s will” to take “moral and historic responsibility,” the foreign minister said. “This bloodthirsty regime is no longer only menacing the people of the region... it is menacing the whole world.”

The best way to halt Iran’s aggressive behavior is to cut off its sources of financial support until it renounces its ballistic missiles program and ends it destabilizing activity, he said.

“Today we bear a historic responsibility: The credibility of the entire organization [the UN] and the entire world is at stake.”
Already on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country planned to sanction all those who continue to purchase oil from Iran.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday it was impossible for Turkey to stop buying oil and natural gas from Iran, despite the threat of US sanctions, adding that trade between the two countries would continue, according to broadcaster NTV.

Speaking to reporters on his return flight from the United Nations, Erdogan said Turkey was not afraid of possible US sanctions over its trade with Iran, adding that Ankara did not want to sever its cooperation with Tehran.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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