Iran Rejects Saudi Allegation at OIC Summit

Saudi King Salman and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim

Saudi King Salman and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim

The summit follows two emergency Arab meetings the night before in Mecca criticizing Iran's behavior and its influence in countries like Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting, the third and final Iran-focused summit in the holy city of Mecca this week, denounced controversial USA moves to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

They demanded the worldwide community to live up to its responsibility to preserve global security and peace, and to take more serious, effective and decisive actions against the Iranian regime to prevent it from acquiring nuclear capabilities and impose more stringent restrictions on Iran's ballistic missiles progarmme.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said on Wednesday that the attack near a UAE bunkering hub was connected to the strike on pumping stations on the kingdom's East-West pipeline - both alternative oil shipping routes to the Strait of Hormuz - and a rocket attack on Baghdad's Green Zone.

Earlier on Friday, King Salman told an emergency Arab summit that decisive action was needed to stop Iranian "escalations" following attacks on Gulf oil assets, as US officials said a military deployment had deterred Tehran.

Al Jazeera's James Bay reports.

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"We should confront it with all means of force and firmness", he said.

Donald Trump has made confronting Iran a cornerstone of his foreign policy and is squeezing its economy to force it to roll back its ballistic missile program and support for groups such as Lebanon's Hezbollah, which the US deems a terrorist organization.

The summit coincided with the last few days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, when Mecca throngs with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that attacks on four vessels near a major bunkering hub, just outside the Strait of Hormuz, were "efforts by Iranians to raise the price of crude oil around the world".

But for the summit's host, Saudi Arabia, confronting Iran is at the top of the agenda.

Xi also said that China stands ready to work with the Islamic countries to enhance political mutual trust and promote practical cooperation and dialogue among civilizations, to jointly create a better future for the friendly ties between China and the Islamic world and contribute to advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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Another summit of Arab nations is scheduled in Mecca on May 31, focusing mainly on Palestinian hopes for statehood and independence.

Washington has tried unsuccessfully to mediate an end to the diplomatic standoff between its Gulf Arab allies.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, June 1, 2019.

President Trump has said he does not want a military escalation with Iran. A top US security official said Iranian mines were "almost certainly" used in the tanker operation.

But Trump has appeared to soften his tone towards Tehran, saying that his government does not seek "regime change". "We're looking for no nuclear weapons".

Bolton, however, said the additional United States forces were sent to the Middle East as a "deterrent" and that Washington's response would be prudent.

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It's unclear how many of those troops would be sent to Saudi Arabia.

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