Iran accuses US of deceit in Saudi oil facilities attacks
Iran today accused the US of “deceit” and dismissed US accusations it was behind drone attacks on Saudi oil installations.
Tehran suggested that the United States was seeking a pretext to retaliate against the Islamic republic.
“Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless,” foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying in a statement.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned Iran after Saturday’s attacks, which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production. Saudi Arabia said Saturday’s strikes had halved its crude oil production to 5.7 million barrels a day.
All eyes will be on the markets when they reopen on Monday, with experts expecting a significant rise in price.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Shiite Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the drone strikes, but Pompeo said “there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen”.
“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,” the top US diplomat tweeted.
Mousavi said the US allegations over the pre-dawn strikes on Abqaiq and Khurais in Eastern Province were meant to justify actions against Iran.
“Such remarks... are more like plotting by intelligence and secret organisations to damage the reputation of a country and create a framework for future actions,” he said.
Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 deal that promised Iran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.
Since the withdrawal, the United States has slapped crippling sanctions on Iran as part of a campaign of “maximum pressure” and the Islamic republic has responded by reducing its commitments to the nuclear accord. -AFP