Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an interview to the Saudi-owned, London-based Asharq Alawsat newspaper and discussed recent attacks on oil tankers and on the Kingdom’s southern border, saying Saudi Arabia does not want a war in the region, but stressed that it “will not hesitate in dealing with any threat against our people, sovereignty and vital interests.”
Crown Prince Mohammed said that the Kingdom supports “the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran out of our belief that the international community needed to take a decisive stance against Iran.” He said hoped that the Iranian regime “would opt to become a normal state and cease its malign behavior.”
The Crown Prince told Asharq Al-Awsat that the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, oil facilities in the Kingdom and Abha airport “underscore the importance of our demands for the international community to take a decisive stance against an expansionist regime that has supported terrorism and spread death and destruction over the past decades not only in the region, but the whole world.”
The interview, given in Arabic to Asharq Al-Awsat’s Editor in Chief Ghassan Charbel and later translated into English, was widely picked up by media outlets as the world closely watches developing events in the region.
Crown Prince Mohammed also blasted Iran for disrespecting the Japanese Prime Minister, who visited Iran last week, “and in effect responded to his efforts by attacking the two oil tankers in the Gulf, one of which was apparently Japanese.”
The Crown Prince said that Saudi Arabia “places great importance on the strategic ties with the US,” considering it a “main factor in achieving regional security and stability.” He also expressed confidence that “our strategic relations with the US will not be affected by media campaigns or arbitrary stances.”
He said Saudi Arabia backed all efforts to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis but “the Houthi militias prioritize Iran’s agenda over the interests of Yemen and its people.”
“The Kingdom cannot accept the presence of militias operating outside the apparatus of states on our borders,” he said, adding “we not only seek to liberate Yemen from the Iranian militias, but achieve prosperity and stability for all of the people of Yemen.”