Saudi Arabia says Iranian weapons were used in attacks on oil plants and that the attacks did not originate in Yemen
- Saudi Arabia on Monday said Iranian weapons were used in strikes on two of its major oil facilities that have caused oil prices to surge.
- Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are allied with Iran, claimed responsibility for the attack. But a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Monday said the strikes did not originate in Yemen.
- "The preliminary results show that the weapons are Iranian ... The terrorist attack did not originate from Yemen as the Houthi militia claimed," Colonel Turki al-Malki told reporters.
- This came after US officials blamed Iran for the attack and hinted at a possible military response.
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Saudi Arabia on Monday said Iranian weapons were used in devastating strikes on two of its major oil facilities, Reuters reported, which came after US officials blamed Iran for the attack and President Donald Trump alluded to possible military strikes as a response.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack, which took place on Saturday, but that assertion has been called into question. The Houthi rebels said the attack was conducted via 10 drones that targeted the oil plants.
Colonel Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that's battling the Houthis, said preliminary results of an investigation into the attack shows it did not originate in Yemen.
"The preliminary results show that the weapons are Iranian ... The terrorist attack did not originate from Yemen as the Houthi militia claimed," Malki told reporters in Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Malki also said they're working to determine the launch location.
His comments echo statements made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who on Saturday tweeted, "Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."
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 worldâ€™s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 14, 2019
Iran is rejecting allegations it's behind the attack on the Saudi oil facilities, accusing Pompeo of turning to "max deceit" over his allegations.
Trump on Sunday suggested the US knew who the "culprit" was and indicated that his administration would wait for verification from the Saudis to act.
"Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked," Trump tweeted. "There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!"
Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter. The attack on the Saudi Aramco facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais has cut the kingdom's oil production in half, which translates into 5% of the world's daily oil supply. Oil prices have surged following the strikes.
Iran and the US are both rejecting diplomacy
The incident occurs amid broader tensions between the US and Iran that sparked fears of a military conflict in recent months.
Trump last week indicated he might be willing to sit down for talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in late September, but both Washington and Tehran now seem completely disinterested in diplomacy.
A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Monday said a meeting between Trump and Rouhani "will not be held."
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