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The New Arab

No war with Iran, says Saudi deputy crown prince

The deputy crown prince said Saudi will not go to war with Iran [AFP]

Date of publication: 8 January, 2016

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Mohammed Bin Salman said that his country would not allow tensions to escalate into war with Iran.

The deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman said that his country would not allow rising tensions to escalate into war with Iran.

In an interview with The Economist published on Wednesday, the deputy crown prince - also the Saudi minister of defence - said that war between Iran and Saudi Arabia would be catastrophic for the region.

"It is something that we do not foresee at all, and whoever is pushing towards that is somebody who is not in their right mind," said the prince. "For sure we will not allow any such thing."

The deputy crown prince said that cutting diplomatic relations with Iran was to prevent "real conflict" after Iran failed to protect Saudi diplomatic missions.

"Imagine if any Saudi diplomat, or one of their families or children are attacked in Iran. Iran's position then will be much more difficult," he said.

"If a child, or a diplomat, or their families are attacked, what could happen? Then we will have the real conflict and the real escalation."

The crown prince defended his country's decision to execute 47 prisoners who were charged with terrorism offences, including prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

Understanding the Saudi-Iran tension
- What's the beef? A brief history of Saudi-Iran relations
- Riyadh denies bombing Iran's 'undamaged' Yemen embassy
- Saudi-Iran diplomatic tension sparks oil price rises
- Iranian-Saudi tensions near boiling point over cleric's execution
- Saudi Arabia executes 47 including top Shia cleric
- Bahrain breaks up anti-Saudi protests
- World powers call for calm amid Saudi-Iran crisis
- Saudi execution toll highest in two decades
- Thousands demand release of Saudi death row Shias
- Comment: Death sentence for Shia cleric 'will spark unrest'
- Saudi court upholds death sentence for Shia cleric
- Comment: Human rights are out of fashion
- Cameron defends 'squalid' deal with Saudi Arabia
- Hackers target Saudi Arabia over planned execution of youth

It was the largest mass execution carried out by the Kingdom since 1980.

The executions, which were carried out after trials that were described by human right groups as "unfair" sparked an international outcry.

However, in Shia-majority countries such as Iraq, Bahrain and Iran, large demonstrations filled the streets to condemn the death of Nimr, a popular religious figure held in high esteem.

Demonstrators stormed the Saudi consulates in the Iranian city of Mashhad and the capital Tehran, to which Saudi retaliated with cutting off diplomatic and commercial ties.

The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Qatar, Kuwait and other nations followed suit by recalling their ambassadors from Iran.

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