Saudi Arabia’s crown prince accused Iran on Sunday of carrying out Thursday’s attacks on two oil tankers near the globally important Strait of Hormuz.
“The problem is in Tehran and not anywhere else,” Prince Mohammed told Arabic-language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat according to The Associated Press. “Iran is always the party that’s escalating in the region, carrying out terrorist attacks and criminal attacks either directly or through its militias.”
The U.S. is also pointing a finger at Iran, which denies culpability for the attacks. The U.S. military released video footage they say shows Iranian special forces removing an unexploded limpet mine from Japanese-operated tanker Kokuka Courageous after Thursday’s attacks.
Members of the Japanese tanker’s crew reported seeing “flying objects” during the attack as opposed to limpet mines, reported The AP.
The crown prince claimed that Iran disrespected Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by allegedly carrying out the attacks while he visited Tehran. Prince Mohammed did not have any evidence to back up his claims.
“The kingdom does not seek war in the region, but we will not hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, sovereignty and vital interests. … The choice before Iran is clear. Do you want to be a normal state with a constructive role in the international community or do you want to be a rogue state?” Prince Mohammed continued according to The AP.
Saudi Arabia and Iran have long been at odds. Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Saudis and the Houthis have been in conflict since 2015, according to The AP.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, who commands American forces in the Middle East, said Iran poses a “very real” threat earlier in June. He spoke after the alleged sabotage of four oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in May. Saudi Arabia also blamed Iran for those attacks.
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