Saudi Arabia ‘not consulted’ over US strike to kill Iran general

Saudi Arabia was not consulted by Washington over a US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, an official said Sunday, as the Kingdom sought to defuse soaring regional tensions.

Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to possible Iranian reprisals after Tehran vowed “revenge” following the strike on Friday that killed powerful Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia was not consulted regarding the US strike,” a Saudi official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

“In light of the rapid developments, the Kingdom stresses the importance of exercising restraint to guard against all acts that may lead to escalation, with severe consequences,” the official added.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry echoed a similar call for restraint at the weekend and King Salman emphasized the need for measures to calm tensions in a phone call on Saturday with Iraqi President Barham Saleh.

In a separate phone call with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stressed “the need to make efforts to calm the situation and de-escalate tensions”, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Crown Prince has instructed Prince Khalid bin Salman, his younger brother and vice defense minister, to travel to Washington and London in the next few days to urge restraint, the pan-Arab Asharq al-Awsat newspaper reported.