Prince Mohammed said he's in favour of US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani holding face-to-face talks
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman warned that war between his country and Iran would lead to a “total collapse of the global economy” and said he prefers non-military pressure to stymie Iranian ambitions.
“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 prince said in an interview for CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
“Oil prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes,” he said, adding that a “political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one.”
The September 14 aerial attacks on two Saudi oil installations that knocked out almost 5% of global supply, which the US and Saudi Arabia blamed on Iran, were motivated by “stupidity,” the prince said. “There is no strategic goal. Only a fool would attack 5% of global supplies.”
Two of the crown prince’s closest advisors are accused of orchestrating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “How could you not know [about the murder]?” Norah O’Donnell asks MBS https://t.co/A3GvK7eCCm pic.twitter.com/KpypiDFV4M— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 30, 2019
The prince said he took “full responsibility” for the murder of government critic and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Asked how he could have been unaware of the operation, he said he can’t know “what 3 million people working for the Saudi government do daily.”
“This was a mistake,” the prince said. “And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future.”
The question of the prince’s role in the murder has particularly weighed on the kingdom’s relations with the US, a key ally. President Trump has shielded the prince even as Congress condemned Saudi Arabia.
In his first on-camera interview about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman denies involvement but says he takes “full responsibility” for the “heinous crime” https://t.co/0i8faMZq2L pic.twitter.com/ELIgFgITUE— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) September 30, 2019
Prince Mohammed first spoke publicly about the killing in October last year at an investor conference in Riyadh, calling it a “heinous crime” and promising that the killers would be brought to justice.
He reiterated calls for Iran to stop backing Shiite militants in Yemen in a war that’s killed thousands and triggered one the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
“First, if Iran stops its support of the Houthi militia, the political solution will be much easier,” the prince said. “Today we open all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen.”
He said he’s in favour of US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani holding face-to-face talks. Trump had talked up the possibility of meeting Rouhani until the attack on Saudi oil fields. Iran has denied involvement in the strikes.