Saudis say they don’t want war, but will defend themselves

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In this Friday, May 17, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, the USS Abraham Lincoln sails in the Arabian Sea near the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge. Commercial airliners flying over the Persian Gulf risk being targeted by
In this Friday, May 17, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, the USS Abraham Lincoln sails in the Arabian Sea near the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge. Commercial airliners flying over the Persian Gulf risk being targeted by “miscalculation or misidentification” from the Iranian military amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the U.S., American diplomats warned Saturday, May 18, 2019, even as both Washington and Tehran say they don’t seek war. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian M. Wilbur, U.S. Navy via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A top Saudi diplomat says the kingdom does not want war but will defend itself, amid a recent spike in tensions with archrival Iran.

Adel al-Jubeir, the minister of state for foreign affairs, spoke early Sunday, a week after four oil tankers were targeted in an alleged act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and days after Iran-allied Yemeni rebels claimed a drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline.

Saudi Arabia has blamed the pipeline attack on Iran. Gulf officials say an investigation into the tanker incident is underway.

A-Jubeir told reporters: “We want peace and stability in the region, but we won’t stand with our hands bound.”

Ministers from major oil-producing countries were to meet in Saudi Arabia later Tuesday.

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