U.S. President Donald Trump spoke Friday with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to discuss Iran's "escalatory behavior."
In addition, the leaders "discussed Saudi Arabia’s critical role in ensuring stability in the Middle East and in the global oil market," the White House said in a brief statement.
Oil prices have surged as much as 10% over the past week amid regional tensions that have been rising between the U.S. and Iran since Washington unilaterally withdrew last year from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany and the EU.
The U.S. has since embarked upon a diplomatic and economic campaign to ramp up pressure on Iran to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
Part of its campaign has included the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions on exports of Iranian crude oil, which has sent the Iranian economy into a nosedive. The U.S. has largely relied on Saudi Arabia to make up the declined global oil outputs following the economic penalties on Iran.
The U.S. has also increased its military presence in the Middle East, deploying a carrier strike force, bomber task force and Patriot missile battery and using threats from Iran as justification for the actions.
On Monday, the Trump administration announced it would be sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East, citing increased threats from Iran.
By Michael Hernandez in Washington