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Riyadh warns Iran of retaliation

Saudis complain to UN about Tehran’s intrusions on their offshore oil facilities

Gulf News

London: Saudi Arabia has reportedly warned it will retaliate if Iran continues to intrude on the airspace and waters around its offshore oil facilities in the Arabian Gulf, and reserves the right to retaliate, as Tehran’s firing at a US drone last week raises concerns about an escalation in tensions in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the United Nations, Abdullah Al Mouallimi, has written to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon about Iranian intrusions on its offshore oil facilities, the official Kuwait News Agency reported this week.

“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reserves its right to take any action it deems fit in order to protect its waters and oil installations, and holds the Iranian authorities fully responsible for all possible consequences,” he wrote, according to the report.

In the letter, the Saudi envoy said that in July an Iranian helicopter hovered several times over oil-rig sites in the Hasba field, and on another occasion two Iranian military launches intercepted and stopped a vessel belonging to a Saudi Aramco contractor in the Arabia field area.

He also said the Saudi Foreign ministry had already sent a letter to its Iranian counterpart demanding such incidents aren’t repeated.

“Those two fields are Saudi Arabian offshore fields, as set forth in the agreement concluded between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and...Iran in 1968, in which the line demarcating the border between the two countries’ offshore fields is delineated,” Al Mouallimi said in the letter, according to KUNA.

The Saudi mission at the UN and the Saudi and Iranian foreign ministries didn’t return requests for comment. The UN press office didn’t respond to calls.