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Saudi Calls For Pressure On Iran After U.S. Ends Oil Exemptions

Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf speaks during a preparatory meeting for foreign ministers in Tunis on March 29, 2019 ahead of the annual Arab summit.
Riyadh, April 23, 2019 (AFP) -

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday called for international pressure to be kept up on Tehran after a US decision to end sanction exemptions for Iran's oil customers.

The latest US move was a "necessary step" to hold Iran responsible for its "destabilizing policies and support for terrorism", Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

He added the kingdom was keen on "the need for continued international efforts to (compel) the Iranian regime to abide by international laws and stop interfering in other countries' internal affairs".

The White House on Monday announced it will no longer grant reprieves from unilateral US sanctions on Tehran, in order to "bring Iran's oil exports to zero".

Eight countries initially given six-month waivers include China, India and Turkey.

Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Riyadh was committed to "stabilize" the oil market.

"The kingdom will coordinate with other oil producing countries to ensure adequate supplies to consumers," he said on Monday.

The White House has said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- close US allies -- would work to make up the difference in oil to ensure that global markets are not rocked.

US President Donald Trump has adopted a hawkish stance to Saudi's regional rival Iran, last year pulling out of a landmark nuclear deal Tehran agreed with world powers and imposing sanctions.