Saudi Rejects Call for Oil Embargo over Israel


". . .oil is not a weapon. You can't reverse a conflict by using oil."

Middle East oil producing nations will reject Iran's call for Muslim countries to halt crude supplies to Israel's backers over the fighting in Gaza, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"The oil producers who need their income. . .are not going to do that," Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters at a news conference. "The use of oil, especially at this time, is an idea that is at least past its worth," he said. "The important thing, oil is not a weapon. You can't reverse a conflict by using oil."

IRNA (Tehran's official news agency) said the commander described oil as a commodity that could put pressure on Israel's European and American backers in the "unequal war" faced by Palestinians in the coastal strip.

Iran, which often launches verbal diatribes against the United States and Israel, is the world's fourth-largest oil producer and a leading member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

The Saudi official's comments followed similar remarks from an OPEC source who, on Monday, told Reuters that core OPEC oil producers in the Gulf would ignore Iran's call, noting that any such move to cut supplies was "very unlikely."

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