World oil prices could double or triple over the current painful $70-per-barrel level if diplomacy failed and military conflict broke out over Iran's nuclear ambitions, Saudi Ambassador Prince Turki al-Faisal warned this morning.
"We don't know" what will happen if the United States chooses a military option in Iran, al-Faisal said, but "if there is military conflict, if bombs are dropped, ships are blown up, oil facilities on our side of the gulf are targeted . . . just the idea of somebody firing a missile at an installation somewhere would shoot up the price of oil astronomically." In such a scenario, he said, Saudi Arabia "hopefully would defend our oil installations as best as we can and seek an immediate resolution," but the risks would be grave. "Not just our installations, but the whole gulf would become an inferno of exploding fuel tanks and shut-up facilities," al-Faisal said.