Dubai/Jeddah: Iran warned US President Donald Trump on Thursday against being dragged into all-out war in the Middle East following an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has described the weekend strike that initially halved Saudi oil output as an act of war and has been discussing possible retaliation with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies.
Trump on Wednesday struck a cautious note, saying there were many options short of war with Iran. He ordered more sanctions on Tehran.
Pompeo said on Wednesday that the attack was "of a scale we've just not seen before".
"The Saudis were the nation that were attacked. It was on their soil. It was an act of war against them directly," he told reporters before meeting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Riyadh, which described the assault as a "test of global will", on Wednesday displayed the remnants of 25 Iranian drones and missiles it said were used in the strike as undeniable evidence of Iranian aggression.
The Saudi ambassador to Berlin said "everything is on the table", telling Deutschlandfunk radio that options need to be discussed carefully.
The United Arab Emirates on Thursday followed Saudi Arabia in announcing it was joining a global maritime security coalition that Washington has been trying to build since a series of explosions on oil tankers in Gulf waters in recent months that were also blamed on Tehran.
Pompeo, who arrived in the UAE from Saudi Arabia on Thursday for talks with Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, welcomed the move on Twitter: "Recent events underscore the importance of protecting global commerce and freedom of navigation."
Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the assault on two Saudi oil plants, including the world's largest processing facility. US and Saudi officials rejected the claim, saying the attack had not come from the south.
Fellow Gulf OPEC producer Kuwait, which said earlier this week it was investigating the detection of a drone over its territory, has put its oil sector on high alert and raised security to the highest level as a precautionary measure.
Oil prices, which soared following the attack, steadied after Saudi Arabia pledged to restore full production by the end of the month.
Pompeo said the attacks would be a major focus of next week's annual UN General Assembly meeting and suggested Riyadh could make its case there.
"When missiles hit another country it is an act of war, but we have to go back to the principle of de-escalation," French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said. "There is an international investigation, let's wait for its results."
The French army sent seven experts to Saudi Arabia to join the investigation. UN officials monitoring sanctions on Iran and Yemen are also helping probe the attack.