Skip to main content

Saudi Arabia denies relaying 'messages' to Iran through other countries

Saudi Arabia claims 'sister countries' acted to calm tensions after oil attacks
Saudi Arabia denies 'sending messages' to Iran after oil attack (AFP)

Saudi Arabia has denied it used third parties to send messages to Iran in the aftermath of an attack on two Saudi oil facilities that has raised tensions between the countries. 

Saudi Arabia's most prominent diplomat Adel al-Jubeir said "sister countries" had themselves tried to calm the situation after the attack, which it blames on Iran. 

On Monday, an Iranian government spokesman said Saudi Arabia had sent messages to Iran's president through the leaders of other countries, but did not specify their content.

"What the Iranian speaker said about the kingdom sending messages to the Iranian regime is not accurate," said, Jubeir, the Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs, on Twitter late on Tuesday.

"What happened was that sister countries sought to calm the situation, and we told them that the position of the kingdom was to always seek security and stability in the region."

Middle East Eye reported on Tuesday however that Saudi Arabia had given a "green light" to Iraq to broker talks with Iran.

Abbas al-Hasnawi, an official in the Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi's  office, told MEE on Tuesday that the Iraqi leader was mediating between the leaderships in Riyadh and Tehran and had communicated each side's conditions for talks to the other.

Mixing energy and politics

In an interview broadcast on Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman warned that oil prices could spike to "unimaginably high numbers" if the world did not come together to deter Iran, but said he preferred a political solution to a military one.

"We also told them that de-escalation should come from the party that is escalating and spreading chaos through hostile acts in the region," Jubeir added.

"We conveyed to them our position towards the Iranian regime that we always announce clearly in all venues, most recently at the United Nations General Assembly," he said.

Iran responded to bin Salman's comments about oil prices on Wednesday by saying the energy market should remain independent of politics. 

"The energy market must be non-political in order to prevent unilateral and illegal interference," Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said upon arrival in Moscow for a meeting of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).

Zanganeh said he would be willing to meet the oil minister of regional rival Saudi Arabia while in Moscow but that the Saudis have a problem with meeting.

Saudi Arabia overstated the damage done by the attacks, Zanganeh said.

"I never believed that with this attack half of the oil production of Saudi Arabia was made unavailable," he said, according to the official Iraniann news agency IRNA.

"I think Saudi Arabia has resorted to political exaggeration about this in order to say that the energy security of the world has been put in danger."