- Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, said in a new interview that the strikes on two Saudi oil facilities earlier this month were an act of war by Iran and could send oil prices jumping if the dispute was not resolved.
- In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Crown Prince Mohammad said the strikes were an act of “stupidity” and “only a fool would attack 5% of global supplies.”
- The crown prince also said a rise in the dispute could disrupt 30% of global energy supplies, which he said would mean “a total collapse of the global economy.”
- The strikes on the Saudi oil facilities temporarily disrupted 5% of the world’s oil supply and initially sent oil prices up by 20%.
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Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a new interview that global energy supplies could be disrupted over the country’s dispute with Iran, with oil prices jumping “to unimaginably high numbers.”
The kingdom’s de facto leader, in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, also said the dispute with Iran could escalate – and would threaten the global economy.
“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests,” Crown Prince Mohammed said. “Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.”
He was addressing the September 14 attacks against two Saudi oil facilities, which the US and Saudi Arabia have blamed on Iran. The weekend attacks, for which Iran has denied responsibility, temporarily wiped out roughly half of Saudi’s oil production, or roughly 5% of the world’s supply. When trading opened on the following Monday, the price of Brent crude oil spiked by 20% initially and ended the day up 10%.
In a wide-ranging interview, the crown prince told “60 Minutes” that he hoped there would not be a military response to Iran, saying a “political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one.”
He warned that the implications of the attack could hamper the global economy. “The region represents about 30% of the world’s energy supplies, about 20% of global trade passages, about 4% of the world GDP,” he said on the program. “Imagine all of these three things stop. This means a total collapse of the global economy and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries.”
Asked whether he considered the attack an act of war, Crown Prince Mohammed replied, “Of course, yes,” adding that he believed it was “stupidity.”
“There is no strategic goal,” he said, adding: “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.”
When asked by the interviewer Norah O’Donnell whether Trump should sit down with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and craft a new nuclear deal, the crown prince replied: “Absolutely.”
“This is what President Trump is asking for, this is what we all ask for,” he said. “However, it is the Iranians who don’t want to sit at the table.”
For the full transcript of the interview, which also discussed the conflict with Yemen and the Khashoggi murder, click here.