RIYADH (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump issued a unique risk to Tehran on Sunday, tweeting that a battle often is the “legitimate halt” of Iran, as Saudi Arabia warned it stood ready to answer with “all strength” and acknowledged it used to be up to Iran to steer clear of war.

The heightened rhetoric follows closing week’s attacks on Saudi oil property and the firing of a rocket on Sunday into Baghdad’s heavily fortified “Inexperienced Zone” that exploded near the U.S. embassy.

“If Iran desires to war, that often is the legitimate halt of Iran. By no formula threaten the US as soon as more!” Trump acknowledged in a tweet without elaborating.

A U.S. Utter Division legitimate acknowledged the rocket attack in Baghdad did no longer hit a U.S.-inhabited facility and produced no casualties nor any necessary damage. No claims of responsibility had been made, however the US used to be taking the incident “very severely.”

“Now we own made decided over the final two weeks and as soon as more underscore that attacks on U.S. personnel and facilities can even no longer be tolerated and ought to be responded to in a decisive formula,” the legitimate acknowledged in an emailed assertion. “We are able to retain Iran to blame if this form of attacks are performed by its proxy militia forces or parts of such forces, and ought to answer to Iran accordingly.”

Riyadh, which emphasised that it doesn’t desire a war, has accused Tehran of ordering Tuesday’s drone strikes on two oil pumping stations in the dominion, claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi neighborhood. Two days earlier, four vessels, at the side of two Saudi oil tankers, had been sabotaged off the trail of the United Arab Emirates.

In response, international locations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) began “enhanced safety patrols” in the global waters of the Arabian Gulf online page on Saturday, the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-primarily based fully Fifth Like a flash acknowledged on Sunday.

Iran has denied involvement in either incident, which attain as Washington and the Islamic Republic spar over sanctions and the U.S. navy presence in the distance, raising concerns just a few doable U.S.-Iran battle.

“The dominion of Saudi Arabia doesn’t desire a war in the distance nor does it explore that,” Minister of Utter for International Affairs Adel al-Jubeir steered a data conference on Sunday.

“This is able to set what it may maybe well in point of fact to prevent this war and at the same time it reaffirms that in the occasion the diversified aspect chooses war, the dominion will answer with all force and backbone, and this may maybe well defend itself and its pursuits.”

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Sunday invited Gulf and Arab leaders to convene emergency summits in Mecca on Would per chance maybe 30 to focus on about implications of the attacks.

“The unique serious conditions entail a unified Arab and Gulf stance in direction of the besetting challenges and dangers,” the UAE international ministry acknowledged in a assertion.

The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Like a flash acknowledged in its assertion about increased maritime patrols that GCC international locations had been “namely growing communication and coordination with every diversified in help of regional naval cooperation and maritime safety operations in the Arabian Gulf,” with navies and trail guards working with the U.S. Navy.

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Utter for International Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir speaks during a data conference with Russia’s International Minister Sergei Lavrov (no longer pictured) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

Saudi Arabia’s Sunni Muslim ally the UAE has no longer blamed anybody for the tanker sabotage operation, pending an investigation. No-one has claimed responsibility, but two U.S. executive sources acknowledged closing week that U.S. officers believed Iran had encouraged the Houthi neighborhood or Iraq-primarily based fully Shi’ite militias to elevate it out.

The drone strike on oil pumping stations, which Riyadh acknowledged did no longer disrupt output or exports, used to be claimed by the Houthis, who had been fighting a Saudi-led navy coalition in a war in Yemen since 2015.

The Houthi-controled SABA data company acknowledged on Sunday, citing a navy source from the neighborhood, that focusing on Aramco’s installations closing week used to be the origin of coming navy operations against 300 a must-own navy targets.

Targets embrace a must-own navy headquarters and facilities in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, to boot to their bases in Yemen, the source steered SABA.

The pinnacle of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, derided Riyadh’s name to convene Arab summits, asserting in a Twitter put up that they “most keen know the way to help war and destruction”.

A Norwegian insurers’ document considered by Reuters acknowledged Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had been “extremely doubtless” to own facilitated the attack on vessels near the UAE’s Fujairah emirate, a first-rate bunkering hub mendacity true outdoors the Strait of Hormuz.


Iranian International Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has brushed aside the chance of war erupting, asserting Tehran did no longer want battle and no country had the “phantasm it may maybe well in point of fact confront Iran”. This stance used to be echoed by the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Sunday.

“We’re no longer pursuing war but we are furthermore no longer panicked of war,” Vital Overall Hossein Salami used to be cited as asserting by the semi-legitimate data company Tasnim.

Washington has tightened economic sanctions against Iran, trying to diminish Tehran’s oil exports to zero, and beefed up the U.S. navy presence in the Gulf in response to what it acknowledged had been Iranian threats to United States troops and pursuits.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman mentioned regional traits, at the side of efforts to present a enhance to safety and stability, in a phone name with U.S. Secretary of Utter Mike Pompeo, the Saudi Media Ministry tweeted on Sunday.

“We want peace and stability in the distance but we can no longer sit down on our palms in gentle of the persevering with Iranian attack,” Jubeir acknowledged. “The ball is in Iran’s court docket and it’s miles up to Iran to search out out what its fate will more than doubtless be.”

He acknowledged the crew of an Iranian oil tanker that had been towed to Saudi Arabia early this month after a question for help due to the engine ache had been clean in the dominion receiving the “critical care”. The crew are 24 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.

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Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran are arch-adversaries in the Heart East, backing reverse facets in different regional wars. In a signal of the heightened tension, Exxon Mobil evacuated international crew from an oilfield in neighboring Iraq.

Bahrain on Saturday warned its voters against shuttle to Iraq and Iran and requested those already there to attain. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has issued an advisory to U.S. business airliners flying over the waters of the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman to exercise caution.

Extra reporting by Lisa Barrington in Dubai, Nandita Bose in Wahsington, Ali Abdelaty in Cairo, Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva; Writing by Stephen Kalin, Ghaida Ghantous and David Lawder; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, Designate Potter, Chris Reese and Sandra Maler