Iran Will “Pay the Price” If Persists with Aggression, Saudi Minister Tells Le Monde

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir .REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs warned regional rival Iran there would be more sanctions if it continued its “aggressive polices”, but said Riyadh wanted to avoid war.

“Today, Iran is under severe economic sanctions,” Adel al-Jubeir told Le Monde newspaper in an interview published on Monday. “These sanctions will be strengthened. If Iran continues its aggressive policies, it will have to pay the price.”

Jubeir was speaking in Paris after meeting his French counterpart as European powers seek to defuse tensions in the region after Iran downed a U.S. military surveillance drone and was blamed for attacks on six oil tankers.

“We said we wanted to avoid a war at all costs, like the Americans. It is the Iranians who are making the choice of escalation,” Jubeir said.

“You can not attack ships in the Gulf, you can not attack pipelines, you can not provide ballistic missiles to terrorist groups like the Houthis (in Yemen) to use against Saudi Arabia,” he said.

Iran has denied carrying out the recent attacks in the Persian Gulf region.

(Reporting by John Irish; editing by Richard Lough)