Iran: It Wasn't Us

Calls US stance toward Tehran 'maximum lies'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 15, 2019 7:51 AM CDT
Iran: It Wasn't Us
A man walks through a parking lot as the smoke from a fire at the Abqaiq oil processing facility can be seen behind him in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. Drones launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and another major oilfield Saturday.   (Al-Arabiya via AP)

(Newser) – Iran denied on Sunday it was involved in Yemen rebel drone attacks the previous day that hit the world's biggest oil processing facility and an oil field in Saudi Arabia, just hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleged that Tehran was behind the "unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." The attacks Saturday claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels resulted in "the temporary suspension of production operations" at the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field, Riyadh said. That led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels in crude supplies, authorities said while pledging the kingdom's stockpiles would make up the difference. The amount Saudi Arabia is cutting back is equivalent to over 5% of the world's daily production. While markets remained closed Sunday, the attack could shock world energy prices. They also increased tensions in the region amid an escalating crisis between the US and Iran over Tehran's unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

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Late Saturday, Pompeo directly blamed Iran for the attack on Twitter, without offering evidence, reports the AP. "Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," Pompeo wrote. "There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." The US, Western nations, their Gulf Arab allies, and UN experts say Iran supplies the Houthis with weapons and drones—a charge that Tehran denies. US officials previously alleged at least one recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iraq, where Iran backs Shiite militias. An Iranian Foreign Ministry rep on Sunday dismissed Pompeo's remarks as "blind and futile comments." "The Americans adopted the 'maximum pressure' policy against Iran, which, due to its failure, is leaning towards 'maximum lies'."

(Read more Iran stories.)

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