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Saudi king calls for global action to stop 'escalations' by Iran

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By Euronews
Saudi king calls for global action to stop 'escalations' by Iran

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has called for international action to stop "escalations" in Iran following attacks on Gulf oil assets.

He was speaking at the start of an emergency Arab summit in the holy city of Mecca, following a spike in tensions between the two countries.

The right of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to defend their interests after the attacks on oil pumping stations in the kingdom and tankers off the UAE were supported in a Gulf Arab statement and a separate communique issued after the wider summit.

Tehran denies any involvement in the attacks and in a sign of regional tensions, Iraq, which has good ties with neighbouring Iran and Washington, said it objected to the Arab communique, which stated that any cooperation with Tehran should be based on "non-interference in other countries".

"The absence of a firm deterrent stance against Iranian behaviour is what led to the escalation we see today," King Salman told the two consecutive meetings late on Thursday.

The ruler of the world's top crude exporter said Shi'ite Iran's development of nuclear and missile capabilities and its threats on world oil supplies posed a risk to regional and global security.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said on Thursday that evidence of Iran being behind the tanker attacks would be presented to the U.N. Security Council as early as next week.

"The kingdom is keen to preserve the stability and security of the region, to spare it the scourge of war and to realise peace and stability," King Salman said.

Iran, which is locked in several proxy wars with Saudi Arabia in the region, rejected what it called "baseless" accusations made at the summit, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

"We see the Saudi effort to mobilise (regional) opinion as part of the hopeless process followed by America and the Zionist regime (Israel) against Iran," IRNA quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying.

WATCH: NBC's Matt Bradley, who is in Jeddah, says there hasn't been much evidence of Iran backing of that action: