JEDDAH: Oil prices stabilized on Monday after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called for diplomatic solutions to the crisis with Iran and the war in Yemen.
Armed conflict with Iran would be catastrophic for global growth, the crown prince said.
“Oil supplies will be disrupted and prices will jump to unimaginably high numbers that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.
This means a total collapse of the global economy, and not just Saudi Arabia or the Middle East.
“The political and peaceful solution is much better than the military one.”
The price of oil had been edging upwards after an attack on Saudi oil facilities last month, widely blamed on Iran. Prices fell by 1 percent on Monday after the crown prince spoke.
In an interview with journalist Rosie O’Donnell on the CBS show “60 Minutes,” he also answered tough questions on the war in Yemen, the treatment of Saudi women in jail and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“If Iran stops its support of the Houthi militia, then the political solution would be much easier,” the crown prince said. “Today we open all initiatives for a political solution in Yemen.”
The crown prince was pressed on claims that Saudi female activists had been tortured in prison, which he promised to investigate.
“If this is correct, it is very heinous,” he said. “Islam forbids torture. The Saudi laws forbid torture. Human conscience forbids torture. And I will personally follow up on this matter.”
Khashoggi’s murder last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was “a heinous crime,” he said. “But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government. This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future.”
Khashoggi’s son Salah said on Monday his father’s death was being exploited by enemies of Saudi Arabia and its leadership, and he had the “utmost confidence in the Kingdom’s justice system.”
“My father … never tolerated any abuse or attempt to harm (the Kingdom), and I will not accept his memory or his cause being taken advantage of to achieve that,” he said.