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US patience with Iran not inexhaustible, warns Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has said that US patience with Iran is not inexhaustible and warned that military options are still being considered following the attack on the Aramco oil facilities earlier this month.

The Saudi foreign affairs minister, Adel al-Jubeir, also said the UN-commissioned report into the origins of the attack will be available fairly soon, and described the EU’s Monday statement ascribing responsibility to Iran as “very significant”.

His remarks suggest Saudi Arabia is still putting private pressure on Donald Trump’s administration not to limit his response to the 14 September attack to further sanctions and the deployment of additional troops to defend the oil facilities.

Jubeir said: “We want to mobilise international support, and we want to look at a whole list of options – diplomatic options, economic options and military options – and then make the decision.”

Speaking on the margins of the UN general assembly in New York, he said: “This action will have consequences and Iran must know this.”

He added: “When push comes to shove, there comes a point when even America’s patience runs out – and Iran must be aware of that.”

The attacks temporarily knocked out more than 5% of global oil production and caused petroleum prices to rise.

Also at the UN, the French president, Emmanuel Macron, said on Tuesday he was hoping for a breakthrough with Iran over the possibility of reopening talks in the coming hours.

But the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, denied he was willing to drop his demand that US sanctions are lifted before talks can begin.

Macron told the general assembly: “I am not naive at all and I don’t believe in miracles. I believe it takes courage to build peace and that is why it is important for the United States, Iran and the signatories of the agreement to show this courage.”

But Jubeir set out a series of tough conditions for renegotiating the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, including fresh restrictions on its nuclear programme after 2025, a 24/7 inspection regime all over the country and restrictions on its ballistic missile programme.

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