Monday, 21 October, 2019

China opposes action against Iran after attacks on Saudi oil fields

Iran dismisses US allegation it was behind Saudi oil attacks Iran Dismisses U.S. Blame Over Saudi Oil Field Attack As 'Maximum Falsification' That 'Ignored' Logic
Russell Knight | 16 September, 2019, 16:59

Trump said he would release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to the attacks potentially impacting oil prices.

Mr Trump said on Twitter that the United States was waiting to hear from the Saudis as to who they believe was behind the attack and "under what terms we would proceed!"

Shortly following the Saturday attacks, Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility, saying they carried out the strike with 10 unmanned drones. "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen", Pompeo wrote on Twitter.

"These attacks are not only aimed at the vital installations of the kingdom, but also on the global oil supply and its security, and thus pose a threat to the global economy".

China on Monday threw its weight behind Iran after the United States blamed the country for the weekend drone attacks on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, saying that it is not fair to blame Tehran for the bombings without any conclusive probe.

Already, there have been mysterious attacks on oil tankers that America blames on Tehran, at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq, and Iran has shot down a US military surveillance drone.

The incident ratcheted up the war of words between Washington and Tehran at a time when Donald Trump was seemingly softening his stance towards Iran.

What is the U.S. saying?

Vice President Mike Pence arrives to the West Wing of the White House, Sunday.

All up, the dual attack saw the operations of Saudi Arabia's world-class Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil fields disrupted.

As well as supply fears, increasing tensions between the USA and Iran are also contributing to rising prices amid fears of potential conflict between the two countries in the region.

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"Because of the tension and sensitive situation, our region is like a powder keg", said Mr Hajizadeh. "When these contacts come too close, when forces come into contact with one another, it is possible a conflict happens because of a misunderstanding".

A senior Revolutionary Guards commander warned that the Islamic Republic was ready for "full-fledged" war.

Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebel group had claimed responsibility for the attack, which hit the world's biggest oil-processing facility but a senior US official told reporters on Sunday that evidence indicated Tehran was behind it.

Trump has said his goal is to force Iran to negotiate a tougher agreement and has left open the possibility of talks with President Hassan Rouhani at an upcoming United Nations meeting.

"We think the attacks would be a wake up call for investors, who have failed to price in risk within the price of crude". Iraq denied this on Sunday and vowed to punish anyone using Iraq as a launchpad for attacks.

The Abqaiq processing plant was hit at the weekend.

It's also set to escalate a showdown pitting Saudi Arabia and the USA against Iran, which backs proxy groups in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon.

"Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless", foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said.

Higher oil prices will increases costs throughout the production chain for East Asian countries that are both export-oriented and dependent on oil imports, said Francis Lun, a Hong Kong-based analyst.

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement has been fighting the Yemeni government and a Saudi-led coalition.

The UAE, anxious about rising Iran tensions and Western criticism of the war, has reduced its presence in Yemen, leaving Riyadh to try to neutralise the Houthi threat along its border.

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