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Military action against Iran is possible: Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, KSA: Saudi Arabia’s minister for foreign affairs has said all options, including a military response, were open after attacks on two oil facilities, which it has blamed on Iran.

Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia wanted to avoid war and escalation.

In an assessment, the USA claimed Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi oil facilities. The claim was backed up by the UK, France and Germany this week.

However, Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks. Houthis in Yemen have claimed the responsibility for the attacks at oil facilities.

But Saudi officials say the range, scale and complexity of the attacks exceeded the capabilities of the Houthis.

“Everybody’s trying to avoid war and everybody’s trying to avoid escalation. So we will look at all the options that are available to us. We will make a decision at the right time,” Jubeir said.

“Appeasement has not worked with Iran in the past, appeasement will not work with Iran in the future.”

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN General Assembly that the US wanted “a peaceful resolution with the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

“In the end, it’ll be up to the Iranians to make that decision, or whether they’ll choose violence and hate,” he added.

French President Emmanuel Macron had attempted to broker a historic meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and US President Donald Trump.

But Rouhani told delegates at the UN that he refused to meet Trump while the country’s punishing economic sanctions were in place.

“How can someone believe them when the silent killing of a great nation, and pressure on the lives of 83 million Iranians, especially women and children, are welcomed by American government officials?” he said. “The Iranian nation will never, ever forget and forgive these crimes and these criminals.”

He also dismissed the idea of a photo with President Trump, who has staged several photo opportunities with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – including one spontaneous handshake in the Korean peninsula’s Demilitarised Zone (DMZ).

“Memento photos are the final stage of negotiations, not the first one,” Rouhani said.