Saudi seeks oil supply protection as U.S and Iran face off

The Japan Times 

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Saudi Arabia called for swift action to secure Persian Gulf energy supplies and joined the United States in blaming Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in a vital shipping route that have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region. Thursday's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman exacerbated the antagonistic fallout from similar blasts in May that crippled four vessels. Washington, already embroiled in a standoff with Iran over its nuclear program, has blamed Tehran and Saudi Arabia's crown prince also accused Iran on Saturday. Iran has denied any role in the strikes on the tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz, a major transit route for oil from Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest crude exporter, and other producers in the region. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said there must be "a rapid and decisive response to the threat" to energy supplies, market stability and consumer confidence, his ministry said on Twitter.

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