- Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to the UK said Iran was probably behind the attack.
- President Hassan Rouhani had said, "while exerting psychological and economic pressure on the Iranian people [through sanctions], they want to impose maximum … pressure on Iran through slander."
- Earlier, US officials claimed they detected a location in Iran from which drones and cruise missiles were fired at Saudi Arabia's oil installations.
Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to the UK has warned against hurrying to respond to Saturday’s attack on oil facilities in his country. Speaking to reporters, Prince Khalid bin Bandar Saud said the attacks were a blow to the world and their economy but warned that the Middle East could not afford more conflict.
He said Iran was probably behind the attack. Iran has denied the allegations several times. On the other hand, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a statement on Wednesday that the American accusation of Iran’s involvement in the Saudi Arabia oil attack was aimed at increasing pressure on Iran.
According to Iranian state TV, President Hassan Rouhani had said, “while exerting psychological and economic pressure on the Iranian people [through sanctions], they want to impose maximum … pressure on Iran through slander.” According to Iranian news agencies, the Iranian president said that Iran does not want conflict in the region and accused the US and Saudi-led military alliance of starting a war in Yemen.
Saturday’s attacks on Saudi oil company Aramco’s facilities in Banqiq and Kharis areas hit the world’s largest oil refinery. Half the company’s oil production was suspended, which cut the global supply of oil by five percent. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, and some photos were released Monday as evidence of the claim, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has denied the allegations and said the Yemeni rebels have claimed responsibility for the attacks. An American official told Reuters that attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations last weekend were carried out in southwestern Iran.
Earlier, US officials claimed they detected a location in Iran from which drones and cruise missiles were fired at Saudi Arabia’s oil installations. A senior US official told CBS News that the location is at the northern tip of the Gulf in southern Iran. The official added that Saudi Air Defense did not stop the drones and missiles as they turned to the south to stop the Yemeni attacks.
Iran Denies Any Involvement in the Attacks
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen say they sent drones to attack the Abqaiq oil processing plant and the Khurais’s oil field. Earlier, US President Donald Trump said that it seemed certain that Iran was behind the attacks. He also said that the United States wants more evidence before deciding on an action, but he is hopeful that the threat of war can be avoided.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, the US president said that Saudi Arabia is the key ally of the United States, and he is ready to help, but he will wait for a final determination as to who was responsible for the attacks. It is to be noted that where Saudi authorities have stated that Iranian weapons were used in the attack, they have also refrained from holding Iran directly responsible for the attacks.
The US President also said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would visit Saudi Arabia, but did not mention the details of the visit. Earlier, the head of the NATO alliance said that the situation arising after the attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia is alarming. Jens Stoltenberg says the attacks will increase tensions in the region. He has also accused Iran of “destabilizing” the region.
Earlier, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Monday night that while preliminary investigations indicated that the weapons used in the attack were Iranian, investigations are still underway on where the attack took place. Saudi officials also say that they will invite the UN and other international experts to review ground facts and be part of the investigation. According to him, Saudi Arabia will take appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation to ensure its security and stability.