MBS Warns of Possible War with Iran, Disruption to Global Economy

  • "The region represents about 30 percent of the world's energy supplies, about 20 percent of global trade passages, about four percent of the world GDP . . . Imagine all of these three things stop."
  • He once again denied that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at his behest.
  • MBS also came out in favor of a new Iranian nuclear deal with the United States.

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has said that if other countries of the world do not come together to deal with the threat of Iran, then it will affect the supply of crude oil in the world market and the prices of oil could rise unexpectedly. In an interview with the American TV program, 60 Minutes, he said that if the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia increases, it will affect the global economy.

Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (colloquially known as MBS) is the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and Deputy Prime Minister. He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman.

He once again denied that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at his behest. In October last year, Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Crown Prince Mohammad said that he wanted a political solution to the ongoing tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran as it would affect the global economy if war broke out between the two. He said that 30 percent of the world’s oil supply, 20 percent of world trade and 4 percent of the world’s GDP comes from the region of the Middle East. “Imagine all of these three things stop,” he said.

“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests. Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” Prince Mohammad said.

He once again said that the drone attack on two Saudi Arabian oil bases was a childish act. “I believe it’s stupidity. There is no strategic goal. Only a fool would attack 5% of global supplies. The only strategic goal is to prove that they are stupid and that is what they did,” said Prince Mohammad.

The Crown Prince said that he agreed with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Iran was responsible, and the attack is an act of war. “This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries.” However, Prince Mohammad said that he is not in favor of any kind of military campaign and a peaceful political solution to the matter would be the best option.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations following an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran in January 2016 after Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia cleric. Bilateral relations between the countries have been strained over several geo-political issues such as the interpretations of Islam, aspirations for leadership of the Islamic world, oil export policy and relations with the United States and other Western countries.

So does Saudi Arabia think that the US President should move towards a new nuclear deal with Iran? In response to this question, Prince Mohammad responded, “Absolutely. This is what President Trump is asking for, this is what we all ask for. However, it is the Iranians who don’t want to sit at the table.” The Crown Prince said that the problem is from Iran because the US President is talking about a new agreement but Iran does not want to come forward for talks with the US.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif has once again reiterated that unless the US removes the economic sanctions imposed on the Iranian people, there will be no meeting with President Trump. Iran has been consistently saying that the US had decided unilaterally to distance itself from the nuclear deal, which has a bad effect on Iran’s nuclear policy.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.

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