Gulf of Oman: Saudi Arabia blames tanker attacks on rival Iran

Saudi Arabia has blamed its rival Iran for the recent attacks on oil tankers along a key shipping route in the Gulf.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says his country "won't hesitate" to tackle any threats, as tensions continue to rise in the region.

On Thursday, two tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, a month after four others were targeted off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

The US has also blamed the attacks on Iran, which denies any involvement.

"We do not want a war in the region... but we won't hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our vital interests," Prince bin Salman told the pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

"The Iranian regime did not respect the Japanese prime minister's visit to Tehran," he added. "While he was there [it] replied to his efforts by attacking two tankers, one of which was Japanese."

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih earlier called for a "swift and decisive" response to the attacks.

On Saturday, the head of the world's biggest international shipping association said some firms have ordered their ships not to enter the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman as a result of the attacks.

Jakob Larsen, head of maritime security at BIMCO, told the BBC military escorts for tankers could be organised if the situation worsened.