October 10, 2019 / 6:38 AM / 12 days ago

Iran's Zarif: Either all Gulf states have security, or all will be deprived of it

FILE PHOTO: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at "Common Security in the Islamic World" forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia August 29, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

DUBAI (Reuters) - Either all Gulf countries enjoy security, “or they will all be deprived of it,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday in an opinion piece in the Kuwaiti Al Rai newspaper.

Saudi Arabia, which is locked in several proxy wars in the region with arch foe Iran, has blamed Tehran for attacks on Saudi oil plants on Sept. 14, a charge Iran denies. The kingdom has said it prefers that its differences with Iran are resolved politically rather than militarily.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement had claimed responsibility for the assault on Saudi oil facilities, but Saudi Arabia rejected that claim.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have also blamed Iran for attacks against six oil tankers in May and June, which Tehran also denied.

In the opinion piece, Zarif said the Gulf can be secured through dialogue among the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia, and without the interference of foreign powers, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli and Ahmed Tolba and Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva; Writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Tom Hogue, William Maclean

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