Iran slams Saudi Arabia over tanker attack allegations

Tehran blames Riyadh's own 'misguided approach' for causing current tensions in the region.

    An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire on one of the two tankers [Tasnim News Agency via Reuters]
    An Iranian navy boat tries to stop the fire on one of the two tankers [Tasnim News Agency via Reuters]

    Iran has accused its main regional rival Saudi Arabia of adopting a "militaristic, crisis-based approach" after Riyadh said Tehran was behind last week's attack on two tankers near the Strait of Hormuz.

    The comments by the Iranian foreign ministry on Monday came a day after Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS)called on the international community to take a "decisive stand" over the attacks - but said the kingdom did not want a war in the region.

    "But we won't hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our vital interests," MBS told Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

    US President Donald Trump backed MBS's claims, but Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement in the reported attacks and hinted that Washington itself could have done it to pile pressure on the Islamic Republic on top of economic sanctions.

    On Monday, Abbas Mousavi, Iran's foreign ministry spokesman, blamed Riyadh's "wrong policies" for causing the escalating regional tensions, which have caused a spike in oil prices and concerns about conflict in the region.

    "Salman's charges against Iran in various situations is a continuation of Riyadh's misguided approach and attempts at escaping the problems brought on by their own wrong policies," Mousavi said, according to state TV.

    "Saudi Arabia has poured out the wealth of its people and countries in the region with a lack of proper understanding of the region's variables with a militaristic, crisis-based approach," he added.

    Mousavi said the kingdom lacked a "proper understanding of the region's dynamics" and followed "an approach based on militarism and causing crises and tension".

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies