Not even the presence of Qatar at the emergency summit of Gulf Arab leaders in the holy city of Mecca on Thursday could take away from the urgency of the situation that Iran perpetrated in the region.
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud called for the international community to use all means to confront Iran but extended an olive branch to whoever is willing to listen to the voice of reason.
U.S. envoy to Iran Brian Hook on Thursday did not mince its words when he warned that the United States will respond with military force if its interests are attacked by Iran.
Was oil the culprit?
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf, saying it was an effort by Tehran to raise the global price of oil.
“These were efforts by the Iranians to raise the price of crude oil throughout the world,” Pompeo told reporters shortly before leaving on a trip to Europe.
Speaking in London, Bolton said evidence that Iran was behind the attacks would be presented to the United Nations Security Council next week.
Meanwhile, Emirates News Agency WAM said Arab countries called to step up diplomatic efforts with regional and international organisations to expose Iran's activities that pose a threat to regional security and peace.
“The Arab leaders demanded the international community to take a tough position against Iran destabilising activities in the region and stand firmly against any attempts by Iran or its proxies to threaten world energy security and freedom and safety of marine facilities in the Arabian Gulf and other maritime routes,” WAM said.
Emergency meeting highlights
King Salman said the alleged sabotage of four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and a drone attack on a key Saudi oil pipeline earlier this month requires “serious efforts to protect the security and the gains” of the six energy-rich Arab nations.
Iran claims it has nothing to do with the attacks.
The king called on the international community to thwart Iran's behaviours "and using all means to stop the Iranian regime from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, harbouring global and regional terrorist entities and threatening international waterways'', reported Voanews.
Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani's attended the Mecca summits on Thursday, marking the highest-level visit to Saudi by a Qatari official since the 2017 rift erupted, said Voanews.
Earlier on Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf urged Muslim nations to confront with “all means of force and firmness” the recent attacks.