If other side chooses war, we will respond with full force: Al-Jubeir

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RIYADH - Saudi Arabia does not want a war with Iran but will respond “with strength and determination” if Iran decides to start one, Saudi Minister of state for foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday.

“We don’t want a war in any way, but at the same time we won’t allow Iran to continue its hostile policies toward the kingdom,” Al-Jubeir told reporters in a press conference at Riyadh early Sunday morning. “We want peace and stability.”

“It will do what it can to prevent this war and at the same time it reaffirms that in the event the other side chooses war, the kingdom will respond with all force and determination, and it will defend itself and its interests.” Al-Jubeir said.

Al-Jubeir listed a series of terror attacks which Iran had played a role over the past few decades. The Iranian government “is not looking for stability or security in the region,” he said, adding that Yemen’s Houthi rebels, supported by Iran, had launched more than 200 missiles into Saudi Arabia over the past few years.

The Houthis also were behind a drone attack on Saudi oil installations last week, in which the drones were supplied by Iran, he added.

“We want peace and stability in the region but we will not sit on our hands in light of the continuing Iranian attack,” Al-Jubeir said. “The ball is in Iran’s court and it is up to Iran to determine what its fate will be.”

The United Arab Emirates and other countries are still investigating attacks on several ships, including two Saudi vessels, in the United Arab Emirates last week, Al-Jubeir added.

“We have some indications and we will make the announcements once the investigations are complete,” he said.

“The crew of an Iranian oil tanker that had been towed to Saudi Arabia early this month after a request for help due to engine trouble were still in the kingdom receiving the necessary care.”, he said. The crew are 24 Iranians and two Bangladeshis. REUTERS


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