Now, however, officials are hoping it swings both ways, and that years of hostility fostered by the Saudi-led invasion of Yemen can be parlayed into more direct hostilities with Iran.
On Monday had reported the Saudi Arabia's ally, United Arab Emirates (UAE) sabotage of four commercial vessels.
Concerns about possible conflict have flared after the US dispatched warships and bombers to the region to counter an alleged but unspecified threat from Iran.
Saudi Arabia accused Iran of being behind the attack on a Saudi Arabian Pipeline, to which the Tehran-backed Shi'a Houthi rebels in Yemen known. The United States, which imposed new sanctions on Iran in November, initially gave Indian and seven other buyers a six-month waiver to allow them to continue importing Iranian oil.
As Washington and Tehran spar over sanctions and USA military presence, the UAE is balancing curtailing Iran with protecting its economic interests.
On 14 May, Saudi Arabia reported armed drones attacked two pumping stations in the kingdom.
Iran has responded to the accelerated USA military movement by threatening to abandon limits on uranium enrichment enshrined in the nuclear deal unless the remaining signatories find a way to let it access the economic benefits it expected to reap under the accord.
It added that it's "clear that (U.S.) sanctions are not sending the right message" and that "they must be hit hard", in reference to Iran, without elaborating on what specific targets should be struck. It said the Trump administration had already set a precedent with airstrikes in Syria, when the government there was suspected of using chemical weapons.
In an interview with BBC on Wednesday, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, said Yemeni forces used domestically-built drones to target the East-West oil pipeline, which runs from Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea.
In 2012, when Iran was under a previous round of sanctions, Saudi Arabia and Iraq raised their Asian market share.
"We call for a decisive, punitive reaction to what happened so that Iran knows that every single move they make will have consequences". The deputy defense minister confirmed the attacks in another tweet.
The Arab News published an editorial in English on Thursday, arguing that after incidents this week against Saudi energy targets, the next logical step "should be surgical strikes".
A senior diplomat from the United Arab Emirates said late Wednesday it was "very committed to de-escalation" after the alleged sabotage of the oil tankers off its coast.
Some observers speculate Tehran is seeking to retaliate over Washington's decision in April to put Iran's Revolutionary Guards on a terror blacklist - a move created to stymie their activities across the Middle East. Yemen's Health Ministry said the strikes killed six people, including four children, and wounded more than 40.
A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis since 2015, and carries out near-daily airstrikes.
It's intelligence they say shows Iran moving missiles onto boats in the Persian Gulf.
The U.S. State Department has ordered all nonessential government staff to leave its embassy and consulate in Iraq.
Jeffrey also said that only Russian Federation could help the U.S. to remove the Iranians from Syria.
Tehran has called the USA military presence "a target" rather than a threat, and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted. "And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that". Also, a senior British officer in the US -backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group, Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika's comments exposed global skepticism over the US military buildup.
As Washington and Tehran spar over sanctions and the USA military presence in the region, the UAE is balancing curtailing Iran with protecting its economic interests as the Middle East's tourism, financial and trading hub.
The divergent approaches illustrate the complexities of dealing with Iran.
Iran recently threatened it might resume higher enrichment by July 7, beyond the level permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers.