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US NewsSaudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'

04:35  16 september  2019
04:35  16 september  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Satellite images show 'wanted Iranian oil tanker near Syria'

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Iran denies involvement in Saturday's air attacks , which were claimed by Iran -aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen. But unnamed US officials speaking to US and international media say the direction and extent of the attacks cast doubt on Houthi involvement . The incident has cut global oil supplies by 5% and

Tensions in the Middle East rose to new heights Sunday as Iran denied involvement in high-stakes drone strikes on key Saudi Arabian oil facilities, warned of its military might and derided "maximum deceit" by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who blamed Iran for the attacks.

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for strikes on the world's largest oil processing facility and a major oil field Saturday. The installations, operated by state-owned Saudi Aramco, produce more than half of the country's crude oil.

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Looks like USA & Saudi Arabia is hell-bent on attacking Iran next, even if Yemen rebel claims responsibility. The US secretary of state gave no specific evidence to back up his accusations, simply saying: " We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran 's attacks ."

Iran has rebuffed US accusations of launching a drone attacks that cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output in half. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, squarely blamed Iran . Senator Lindsey Graham even suggested the US should respond by striking Tehran’s oil refineries.

President Donald Trump said he has approved the release of U.S. strategic petroleum reserves “if needed” to stabilize energy markets after the attacks. The authorization could help prevent a spike in oil prices related to the suspension of more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production.

The federally owned petroleum reserve of hundreds of millions of barrels of crude oil has only been tapped three times, most recently in 2011 amid unrest in Libya.

"PLENTY OF OIL!" Trump tweeted.

Pompeo said the Iranian government was behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while its leaders "pretend" to engage in diplomacy.

"Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply," Pompeo said. "We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks."

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly blamed Iran for what he said was “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.” President Trump said Sunday that the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that halved the state oil

Iran ’s Foreign Ministry has denied any involvement in the attacks on Saudi oil facilities in an official letter to the U . S . “ Iran has nothing to do with the attack ,” states the letter, which was delivered to the U . S . via the Swiss embassy in Tehran. Switzerland represents Washington’s diplomatic interests in

Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit' A picture taken on September 15, 2019 shows the entrance of an Aramco oil facility near al-Khurj area, just south of the Saudi capital Riyadh. - Saudi Arabia raced today to restart operations at oil plants hit by drone attacks which slashed its production by half, as Iran dismissed US claims it was behind the assault. The Tehran-backed Huthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, have claimed thi weekend's strikes on two plants owned by state giant Aramco in eastern Saudi Arabia. (Photo by FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images)

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the attack "a real threat to regional security." Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said the group's foreign ministers expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia. France and Turkey were among individual nations to condemn the attacks.

Iran says it's ready for war with US after Saudi oil attack accusations

Iran says it's ready for war with US after Saudi oil attack accusations Iran has dismissed US accusations it was behind drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil plants, and warned it is ready for a "full-fledged" war. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Washington had adopted a "maximum pressure" strategy against Iran, but because of "it's failure [the US] is leaning toward maximum lies". His remarks came as a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said America's military bases and aircraft carriers, which are stationed up to 1,243 miles around Iran, were within range of Iranian missiles.

Iran denies involvement in the attacks , which disrupted global oil supplies. They have launched attacks into Saudi Arabia before, but US officials said on Sunday they believed the drones and missiles did not originate from the south or south-west, and instead were launched from the north or north-west.

Foreign ministry counters accusations from US secretary of state with threats to US bases.

Pompeo and the West have long accused Iran of arming the Houthis. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Sunday that the U.S. "maximum pressure" policy toward his nation has devolved to a "maximum lie."

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Pompeo of "maximum deceit."

"U.S. & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory," Zarif tweeted. "Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our ... proposal to end war & begin talks may."

The attacks came amid speculation that President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani could meet next week when the United Nations General Assembly draws leaders from around the world to New York. White House senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, speaking on Fox News Sunday, did not dismiss the possibility.

Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit' © Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc.

Conway also said Trump had "many options" to retaliate for the attacks.

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a Houthi rebel leader, told the Associated Press the U.S. claims that Iran was behind the attack reflected “political bankruptcy” of the Trump administration. He said the rebels were able to exploit "vulnerabilities" in Saudi air defense systems.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action The Trump administration intensified its focus on Iran Sunday as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and President Trump warning that he was prepared to take military action. 

Pompeo said there was no evidence the attacks came from Yemen but did not provide proof the attacks came from Iran. Still, he promised that Iran would be held accountable for the "aggression."

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's aerospace force, warned Sunday that U.S. military assets in the Middle East were within striking distance of Iran's military.

“We have been constantly preparing ourselves for a full-fledged war,” Hajizadeh told the Tehran Times.

Tensions in the region have been rising since Trump rebuked and later withdrew from a global nuclear deal that had eased crippling economic sanctions on Iran. Iran has responded by seizing oil tankers and shooting down a U.S. drone.

Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit' Foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation OIC meet in the Saudi capital Riyadh on September 15, 2019. - OIC ministers condemned a drone attack against Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, a statement said today, a day after the strike which the US has blamed on Iran. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

The weekend attacks resulted in a suspension of production at Abqaiq and Khurais plants, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a statement carried by Saudi Press Agency. It led to the interruption of about half the kingdom's total production, he said.

Trump Says Iran Appears Responsible for Saudi Attack but That He Wants to Avoid War

Trump Says Iran Appears Responsible for Saudi Attack but That He Wants to Avoid War President Trump said Monday that Iran appeared to be responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. 

That is about 5% of the world's daily oil production, although the prince said his nation would supplement supplies with reserves.

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said no one was injured in the attacks. He said work was underway to restore production, and a progress update would be provided in the next two days.

Trump discussed the attacks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a phone call Saturday to "offer his support for Saudi Arabia's self-defense," according to White House deputy press secretary Judd Deere.

Gallery: Most powerful military nations of 2019 (Picture Services)

Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'
Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'

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Pompeo inadvertently admitted the Iran crisis is a 'direct result' of Trump’s actions.
"There is a direct line you can draw from Trump's violation of the Iran deal and the risk of conflict today," one former US official told Insider.

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