Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a CBS interview aired Sunday that a war between his country and Iran would destroy the global economy.
“The region represents about 30% of the world’s energy supplies, about 20% of global trade passages, about 4% of the world GDP. Imagine all of these three things stop,” he told CBS’s “60 Minutes”.
“This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East countries.”
Prince Salman said oil prices could spike to “unimaginably high numbers” if the world does not come together to deter Iran, but said he would prefer a political solution to a military one.
In the interview, he also denied that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives nearly a year ago, but said he ultimately bears “full responsibility” as the leader of his country.
Days before the anniversary of the killing of Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate in Turkey, the crown prince said: “Absolutely not,” when asked if he ordered the murder.
“If the world does not take a strong and firm action to deter Iran, we will see further escalations that will threaten world interests,” the crown prince said. “Oil supplies will be disrupted and oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.”
The crown prince, in an interview conducted on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia, said he agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Sept. 14 attacks, which damaged the world’s biggest petroleum-processing facility and knocked out more than 5% of global oil supply, were an act of war by Iran.
The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed the attacks on Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement. Instead, the Iran-aligned Yemeni Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility.
“The political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one,” he said.
The crown prince also said U.S. President Donald Trump should meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to craft a new deal on Tehran’s nuclear program and influence across the Middle East.
Efforts to bring the two together last week at the United Nations General Assembly failed.
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