- Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech that the United States is assessing evidence about the attacks on two Saudi oil facilities.
- A US official told AFP today that the attack was carried out from Iranian territory.
- Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today ruled out talks with Washington.
The United States says it is assessing evidence of attacks on two Saudi oil facilities and stands ready to defend its interests. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Saudi Arabia today to discuss the US response to attacks on Saudi oil facilities, Vice President Mike Pence said.
Pence said in a speech at the Heritage Foundation that the United States is assessing evidence about the attacks on two Saudi oil facilities, and stands ready to defend its interests and its allies in the Middle East. He said that if Iran carried out Saturday’s attacks on Saudi Arabia to pressure President Donald Trump to back down from imposing sanctions on Tehran, it would fail.
While President Donald Trump appeared cautious on Monday, and said he would prefer to wait for assurances on how the attack took place and intended to consult Riyadh, a US official told AFP today that the attack was carried out from Iranian territory. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that the US administration is currently working on a file to prove its information, and convince the international community, especially Europeans, during the work of the United Nations General Assembly next week in New York. The official explained that US intelligence services have the ability to determine where the rockets were fired, but declined to say how many rockets were fired.
A day after the United States said it was ready to respond to the attack, Trump said on Monday there was no need for haste. Meanwhile, Saudi King Salman called on governments around the world to address the threats to oil supplies and global economic stability caused by the weekend attacks. European allies said the crisis must be addressed collectively.
In light of this escalation, Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei today ruled out talks with Washington.“If America takes back its words and repents and returns to the nuclear deal, which they have violated, they can take part in the meetings of signatories to this agreement with Iran. Otherwise, no negotiation on any level will happen between officials of the Islamic Republic and America, neither in New York nor anywhere else,” state television quoted Khamenei saying.
For his part, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet that the US “is in denial if it thinks that Yemeni victims of 4.5 yrs of the worst war crimes wouldn’t do all to strike back. Perhaps it’s embarrassing that $100s of blns of its arms didn’t intercept Yemeni fire. But blaming Iran won’t change that.” Zarif stressed that ending the war in Yemen is the only solution to all problems.
Relations between the United States and Iran have deteriorated since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran over its nuclear and missile programs. Trump also wants Tehran to stop supporting forces in the region, including the Houthi group in Yemen, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks.