We don't want war but we won't hesitate to deal with threats: Saudi Crown Prince
Riyadh - Prince Mohammed said that Iran's recent attacks in the region required a firm stance from the international community.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused rival Iran of attacks on two oil tankers in a vital Gulf shipping channel, adding he "won't hesitate" to tackle any threats to the Kingdom, according to excerpts of an interview published on Sunday.
"The Iranian regime did not respect the presence of the Japanese prime minister as a guest in Tehran and responded to his (diplomatic) efforts by attacking two tankers, one of which was Japanese," Prince Mohammed told pan-Arab daily Asharq Al Awsat, referring to the attacks in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.
"We do 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," he added.
"The Iranian regime did not respect the presence of the Japanese Prime Minister as a guest in Tehran. During his presence, they responded to his efforts by attacking two tankers, one of which belongs to Japan," the Saudi Crown Prince added.
During the interview, the Saudi Crown Prince added that Iran's recent attacks in the region required a firm stance from the international community.
"Iran reaped the economic benefits of the nuclear deal in order to support its hostile acts in the region and to spread chaos and destruction," he said.
Prince Mohammed added that at that Riyadh sees the importance for strategic relations with the US as "a key factor in achieving security and stability in the region."
"Our strategic relations with the United States will not be affected by any media campaigns or positions from here and there," he said.
The twin attacks sent crude prices soaring amid a tense standoff between Iran and the US.
The Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous was carrying highly flammable methanol through the Gulf of Oman when it was rocked by explosions, causing a blaze that was quickly extinguished.
A tanker owned by Oslo-listed company Frontline was also targeted.
The two vessels were attacked around the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.
US President Donald Trump said the attacks had Iran "written all over it".
Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement.
Iran has repeatedly warned in the past that it could block the strategic Hormuz Strait in a relatively low-tech, high-impact countermeasure to any attack by the United States.
Doing so would disrupt oil tankers travelling out of the Gulf region to the Indian Ocean and global export routes.