Putin says use of US force against Iran would be ‘a disaster’ as Saudi Arabia says Tehran has created a ‘very grave’ situation in the Gulf
- Iran shot a US drone Thursday after claiming it violated the country’s airspace
- America said drone was in international airspace and shot in ‘unprovoked attack’
- Putin has personally warned Washington that invading Iran would be a ‘disaster’
- Meanwhile Saudi Arabia has blamed Iranian ‘aggression’ for creating a ‘very tense’ situation and said it is consulting with allies over next steps
Vladimir Putin has warned America that invading Iran would lead to ‘disaster’ after the Revolutionary Guard shot down a US drone on Thursday.
The Russian President, a close ally of the regime in Tehran, said any use of force by Washington would lead to a surge of violence in the region – the costs of which would be ‘difficult to calculate’.
Meanwhile Saudi Arabia, a key US partner, blamed Iranian ‘aggression’ for creating a ‘very tense’ situation in the Gulf and said it is consulting on what steps to take next.
Vladimir Putin has warned that an American invasion of Iran would lead to a surge of violence in the Middle East, the costs of which would be ‘difficult to calculate’
Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir warned that attacks on tankers around the Strait of Hormuz – through which a fifth of the world’s oil supply is shipped – threatened global stability.
Both Saudi Arabia and America have blamed the attacks on Iran.
‘When you interfere with international shipping it has an impact on the supply of energy, it has an impact on the price of oil which has an impact on the world economy,’ he said.
‘It essentially affects almost every person on the globe.’
Putin issued his warning during a phone-in session in which he answered screened questions posed by viewers.
Meanwhile Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir blamed Iranian ‘aggression’ for creating a ‘very tense’ situation in the Gulf, and said the country is consulting with allies on next steps
The heightened tensions come after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a US drone, which President Trump warned was a ‘very big mistake’
He said: ‘The US says it does not rule out the use of force… This would be a disaster for the region.
‘It would lead to a surge in violence and an increase in the number of refugees.’
Russia, a long-time ally of Iran, has been particularly staunch in its support for Tehran since the Trump administration ripped up a nuclear agreement signed with the country under Obama.
While Iran has continued complying with the agreement for the last 12 months, the US has slowly reapplied sanctions it had lifted in return for Iran limiting the scope of its nuclear programme.
That has led to a series of escalating moves from both countries.
In April, Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz completely after Trump ended sanction waivers to importers of Iranian oil, cutting off a major revenue supply for Tehran.
Iran said the drone was brought down because it violated the country’s territory, though America denied this, saying it was in international airspace
The Iranians claimed they had shot down a USAF RQ-4 Global Hawk, but the Americans confirmed it was a Navy MQ-4C Triton (pictured)
In May, two oil tankers were hit by explosives while travelling through the Strait, before the attack was repeated this month.
The US has released footage of what it claims is an Iranian boat retrieving a limpet mine which failed to explode from the side of one of the boats.
America has also moved a strike carrier group to the region to deal with what it called ‘credible threats’ from Iran.
This week, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said America is moving 1,000 troops and allocating more defence resources to deal with the threat.
Despite the US gearing up for a possible confrontation, European ministers have hedged their bets – saying they favour keeping the nuclear deal in place and need more time to analyse US and British intelligence on Iran’s actions.
‘We continue to gather information … in a situation like this we need to be very meticulous and we are taking the time that we need,’ German foreign minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.
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