Saudi crown prince warns that war with Iran could collapse world economy

The Saudi prince claimed that the better solution would be a diplomatic one

September 30, 2019 03:19
1 minute read.
Saudi crown prince warns that war with Iran could collapse world economy

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes part in a meeting with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 18, 2019. (photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/POOL/REUTERS)

WASHINGTON - Saudi Arabia's crown prince warned in an interview aired on Sunday that crude prices could spike to "unimaginably high numbers" if the world does not come together to deter Iran, but said he would prefer a political solution to a military one.

"If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the CBS program "60 Minutes."

The crown prince, in an interview conducted on Tuesday, said he agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Sept. 14 attacks on the kingdom's oil facilities were an act of war by Iran.

But he said he preferred a peaceful resolution because that "is much better than the military one." He added that a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran would collapse the global economy. The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed the attacks on Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement.

U.S. President Donald Trump should meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to craft a new deal on Tehran's nuclear program and influence across the Middle East, the crown prince said.

Days before the anniversary of the Oct. 2, 2018, killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, the crown prince said: "Absolutely not," when asked if he ordered the murder. But he said he took full responsibility, "since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government."

Oil prices jumped roughly 12% on the 16th of September after the attack sliced the kingdom's production in half and intensified concerns of retaliatory actions in the Middle East. Prices initially surged about 20%, with Brent crude posting its biggest intraday gain since the 1990-1991 Gulf crisis, before pulling back as various nations said they would tap emergency supplies to keep the world supplied with oil.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ruled out Yemeni involvement and accused Iran of leading the attacks.

Saudi Arabia usually ships more than 7 million bpd of oil to global destinations and has for years served as the market's supplier of last resort. Saudi Aramco has been seeking to prepare for a share sale that would make it the world's largest listed company.

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