Pompeo favours 'peaceful resolution' to crisis after Saudi oil attack
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with a Saudi official before boarding his flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to the UAE
AFP, Dubai :
The US wants a peaceful solution to the crisis sparked by attacks on Saudi oil installations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, after Iran raised the spectre of "all-out war".
Pompeo has blamed Iran for the dramatic weekend assault on two facilities, condemning an "act of war" which knocked out half the kingdom's oil production.
The rhetoric has raised the risk of an unpredictable escalation in a tinderbox region where Saudi Arabia and Iran are locked in a decades-old struggle for dominance.
After meeting with allies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Pompeo said there was an "enormous consensus in the region" that Iran carried out the attacks, despite its denials and Yemeni rebels' claims that they were responsible.
But Pompeo said the US was intent on finding a way out of the confrontation.
"We'd like a peaceful resolution. I think we've demonstrated that," he told reporters.
"I hope the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it the same way."
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier warned any US or Saudi military strike on Iran could lead to "all-out war".
"We don't want war," he told CNN in an interview aired Thursday, "but we won't blink to defend our territory."
Saudi foreign affairs minister Adel al-Jubeir warned on Twitter that complacency towards Iran will encourage it to "commit more acts of terrorism and sabotage in our region".
Â·Saudi officials on Wednesday unveiled what they said were fragments of 25
drones and cruise missiles fired Saturday at the oil facilities in the
country's east, engulfing them in flames.
"The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran," defence ministry spokesman Turki al-Maliki said, although he refused to be drawn on whether Saudi officials believed Iran directly carried out the operation.
Tehran-linked Huthi rebels in Saudi Arabia's southern neighbour Yemen have claimed responsibility, but both Washington and Riyadh have said the operation was beyond the Yemeni insurgents' capabilities.