Iran dismisses as 'pointless' US claims about Aramco attacks

17 Septembre, 2019, 10:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Mike Pompeo

But the USA blamed Iran, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeting, "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen".

The statement appeared to be a response to Washington casting blame on Iran Saturday after Yemen's Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies. They say they will quickly fix the facilities and deploy crude oil reserves to make up for the loss.

State energy producer Saudi Aramco lost about 5.7 million barrels per day of output after 10 unmanned aerial vehicles on Saturday struck the world's biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq and the kingdom's second-biggest oil field in Khurais, the company said. It said Saudi Aramco would provide d information in the next 48 hours.

The Houthis have medium, long-range ballistic missiles in their inventory and they had previously targeted certain strategic locations of Saudi Arabia with armed drones.

The attacks not only target the Kingdom's vital installations, but also target the worldwide oil supply and threaten its security, he said, and are a threat to the world economy. This comes amid an escalating crisis between the United States and Iran over its unravelling nuclear deal with world powers.

There have been no details on the damage but AFP news agency quoted interior ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki as saying there were no casualties.

Mousavi said the USA allegations over the pre-dawn strikes on Abqaiq and Khurais in Eastern Province were meant to justify actions against Iran.

Pompeo claimed later that there was no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.

The kingdom, the world's top oil exporter, ships more than 7 million barrels of oil to global destinations every day.

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Saturday's attack is the latest part of a series of attacks on oil infrastructure, including the sabotage of pumping stations along the East-West pipeline, and attacks on oil tankers off Fujairah and close to the Strait of Hormuz.

Saudi Aramco is the state-owned oil enterprise which operates and controls the majority of the kingdom's refinery production and oilfields.

Traders and analysts said crude may spike to as high as $100 if Riyadh fails to quickly bring back supply.

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve now holds about 644 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Department, roughly equal to 52 days of U.S. production.

Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons.

Iran's foreign ministry dismissed as "meaningless" United States accusations it was behind the drone attacks, suggesting they were a pretext to retaliate against the Islamic republic.

US President Donald Trump himself acknowledged during a telephone conversation with Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman that the attack had affected both the global and the US economy.

Al-Qaida-claimed suicide bombers tried but failed to attack the oil complex in February 2006.

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