Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Sunday said that a military confrontation with Iran would collapse the global economy, adding that peaceful resolution "will be better". According to Hindustan Times, he also warned that oil prices could spike to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world does not come together to deter Iran.
In an interview to US-based CBS programme '60 Minutes', he also urged the world to take strong and firm action to deter Iran. "The region represents about 30 per cent of the world's energy supplies, about 20 per cent of global trade passages, about four per cent of the world GDP," the crown prince was quoted by Al Jazeera.
"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."MBS said that he prefers a peaceful resolution because it "is much better than the military one."
Tensions in the region surged following an attack on Saudi oil facilities on September 14. The attack was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The kingdom had provided proof that Iran had sponsored the attack. Many European powers, the United States had also blamed Iran.
However, Iran has repeatedly denied allegations. During the interview, MBS also said that he agrees with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's conclusion that the September 14 attacks on the kingdom's oil facilities were an act of war by Iran.
Murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi
When asked if he ordered the killing, the crown prince told a US network on Sunday, "Absolutely not." He added that he took full responsibility for the incident that occurred one year ago, "since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government," reported Al Jazeera.
Terming the killing as "heinous" the crown prince said: "This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future." Earlier this week, the crown prince said that Khashoggi's murder "happened under my watch." On being asked how the murder could happen without his knowledge, Salman responded to PBS' Frontline, as quoted by the interviewer, that his nation has "20 million people, 3 million government employees".
When asked whether the killer could have taken private government jets, the Saudi Crown Prince said, "I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they're responsible. They have the authority to do that." Khashoggi, who was a journalist with The Washington Post and a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, was killed on October 2 last year in Turkey where he had gone to obtain paperwork certifying his divorce from his former wife Alaa Nassif in order to be able to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz.
After presenting several contradictory theories, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate premises in what it had described as a "rogue operation". According to US intelligence agencies, Khashoggi's murder was enacted upon orders given by Mohammad bin Salman.
(Inputs from ANI)