Middle East

Iran denies US allegations over Saudi oil attack

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Iran of being behind attack with drone strikes

16.09.2019
Iran denies US allegations over Saudi oil attack


TEHRAN 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday denied the allegations of the United States that Iran is responsible for blazing two oil facilities owned by Saudi Aramco saying the allegations are "baseless and outrageous".

On Saturday, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blamed Iran for coordinating drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities.

"Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia, while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack, on the world’s energy supply," said Pompeo on Twitter.

Moreover, the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: "Iran supports the Yemeni people suffering from the Saudi disproportionate bombardments,"

Early Sunday, Saudi Arabia announced halting oil production temporarily from these oil facilities, following drone attacks.

Although no group has yet specifically claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, fighting against the Saudi-led coalition, said they have carried out similar attacks in the past.

The Iran-backed Houthis, whose medium and long-range ballistic missiles are usually intercepted and neutralized by the Saudi air defense system, have targeted certain strategic locations of Saudi Arabia with armed drones.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated the following year, when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains to support the country’s pro-Saudi government.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the raging conflict since 2016, according to the UN estimates.

In addition, Saudi Arabia's airstrikes seeking to support the government have led to death of scores of civilians in the war-ravaged country since 2015.

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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