The US wants a peaceful solution to the crisis sparked by attacks on Saudi oil installations, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday, after Iran raised the spectre of “all-out war”.
Pompeo has blamed Iran for the dramatic weekend assault on two facilities, condemning an “act of war” which knocked out half the kingdom’s oil production.
The rhetoric has raised the risk of an unpredictable escalation in a tinderbox region where Saudi Arabia and Iran are locked in a decades-old struggle for dominance.
After meeting with allies in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Pompeo said there was an “enormous consensus in the region” that Iran carried out the attacks, despite its denials and Yemeni rebels’ claims that they were responsible.
But Pompeo said the US was intent on finding a way out of the confrontation.
“We’d like a peaceful resolution. I think we’ve demonstrated that,” he told reporters.
“I hope the Islamic Republic of Iran sees it the same way.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif earlier warned any US or Saudi military strike on Iran could lead to “all-out war”.
“We don’t want war,” he told CNN in an interview aired Thursday, “but we won’t blink to defend our territory.”