Iran Dismisses Claim It Was Behind Saudi Oil Attacks, Ready for War

General says US targets within reach of Iranian missiles
September 15, 2019 Updated: September 16, 2019

Several Iranian officials responded on Sept. 16 following a remark by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the country’s regime is likely responsible for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

“The Saudi-led coalition has been fueling the flames of war in the region with recurrent acts of aggression against Yemen and committing various war crimes for around five years, while Yemenis have proved that they stand against war and aggression,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said, according to the state-backed Tasnim News Agency.

Despite the denial, a general said the country is ready for a “full-fledged” war with the United States.

“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” Amirali Hajizadeh, an Iranian commander, told Tasnim.

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s also issued a statement, denying the attacks came from his country. He said Iran  “abides by its constitutions that prevents the use of its lands to launch aggressions against neighboring countries,” reported The Associated Press.

The statements came after Pompeo said Iran is likely behind this weekend’s incident.

On Twitter, Pompeo accused Iran of committing “nearly 100 attacks” on a Saudi oilfield and refinery.

“Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” he wrote on Twitter.

Later, Pompeo called on every nation to condemn the attacks.

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq
Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Sept. 14, 2019. (Reuters)
Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq
Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Sept. 14, 2019. (Reuters)

“The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression,” he tweeted.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5 percent of the global supply, Reuters reported. The drone strikes on plants in the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, were expected to send oil prices up $3-$5 per barrel on Monday.

The United States, Western countries, and the Saudi kingdom have alleged that Iran supplies Yemen’s Houthi rebels with weapons.

President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia’s leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Saturday, saying the United States is ready to “cooperate with the kingdom in supporting its security and stability,” according to the Saudi Press Agency.

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