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Saudi king says attacks by ‘Iran-backed’ groups threaten global oil

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks during the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 1, 2019 [BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud speaks during the 14th Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on June 1, 2019 [BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman said on Saturday that attacks on Saudi oil assets last month, allegedly by Iran-backed groups, are a threat to global oil supplies and regional security.

While the US and Saudi Arabia accuse Iran or Iran-backed groups of carrying out the attacks, the Iranian government has strongly denied any connection to the attacks.

King Salman said at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in the Saudi city of Mecca:

The drone attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations carried out by groups supported by Iran not only threaten the security of the kingdom and the Gulf, but also threaten maritime safety and global oil supplies

This is the third meeting of Arab leaders the king has held in Mecca this week.

On Friday Salman convened emergency summits of Gulf and then Arab leaders to discuss drone strikes on oil installations in Saudi and attacks on four vessels, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the UAE coast in May. Salman told the Arab meeting that decisive action was needed to stop Iranian “escalations” in the region.

Riyadh has accused Tehran of ordering the drone strikes, which were claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group. US national security adviser John Bolton said on Thursday that evidence of Iran’s being behind the tanker attacks would be presented to the UN Security Council as early as next week.

Tehran has denied involvement in either attack.

Iran’s Rouhani: Talks possible only if Washington shows ‘respect’

Salman said the OIC meeting, held in the early hours of Saturday, would seek to confront “aggressive threats and subversive activities” and work for the future of Arab and Islamic states.

Salman also said the Palestinian cause represented a core issue for the OIC and that the kingdom “refused any measures that touch on the historical and legal position of East Jerusalem.”

Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, and his administration says it has built up the US military presence in the region. It accuses Iran of threats to US troops and interests. Tehran has described US moves as “psychological warfare” and a “political game”.

READ: Iran will defend itself against any aggression, says foreign minister

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