Saturday, 19 October, 2019

US believes Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran

Iran Suspected of Drone Strike On Saudi Oil Facility Need to agree on collective response to Saudi Arabia`s oil facility attack, say UK, Germany
Emmett Howard | 18 September, 2019, 00:11

Pakistan is active to defuse tension between the United States and Iran after Washington blamed Tehran for an attack on a Saudi oil facility and threatened to give a strong response.

The assault on the beating heart of Saudi Arabia's vast oil empire follows a new and risky pattern that's emerged across the Persian Gulf this summer of precise attacks that leave few obvious clues as to who launched them. USA officials blamed Iran, a charge Tehran rejected. Such U.S. intelligence, if it could be shared publicly, could increase pressure on Washington, Riyadh and others to respond, perhaps even militarily.

Iran denies involvement in the strikes. The Houthis say they struck the plants with drones, some of which were powered by jet engines.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump, in a tweet, said: "Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked".

On Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled out any negotiations with the USA and accused Washington of exerting a policy of "maximum pressure" against the country.

Washington and Tehran have seen relations deteriorate since Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran has retreated from full compliance with the deal since the US pullout, exceeding limits on uranium enrichment.

Houthi rebels, fighting against Saudi Arabia in Yemen, have taken responsibility. Signatories to the Iranian nuclear accord that the Trump administration renounced, they have made feeble gestures toward countering Washington's "maximum pressure" sanctions regime in an attempt to salvage their own imperialist interests.

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"Where would you find a company in this whole world that went through such a devastating attack and came out like a phoenix?"

Iran's supreme leader said Tuesday "there will be no talks with the U.S.at any level".

Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who was only appointed to the role earlier this month, said that the world´s top energy exporter had dipped into its strategic reserves to maintain supply to clients.

Saturday's attacks raised the specter of a major supply shock in a market that in recent months has been preoccupied with demand concerns and faltering global growth.

Images from the USA government and DigitalGlobe shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Abaqaiq oil processing facility at the weekend.

Trump, alternating between aggressive and nonviolent reactions, said the US could respond "with an attack many, many times larger" but also "I'm not looking at options right now".

"We have a lot of options but I'm not looking at options right now". He said talks could only take place if the United States returned to a nuclear accord between Iran and the West that Trump abandoned previous year.

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