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Saudi Arabia promises to reveal Iran smoking gun behind oil attacks Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi Arabia promises to reveal Iran smoking gun behind oil attacks

King Salman met his cabinet today [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 September, 2019

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Saudi Arabia's oil facilities were attacked by drones or missiles over the weekend.

Riyadh pledged on Wednesday to reveal evidence linking Iran to a series of attacks on oil infrastructure in the kingdom, warning that it could respond to any "aggression" regardless of its origin.

Saudi Arabia said it would hold a press conference at 2:30pm GMT on Wednesday to disclose "material evidence and Iranian weapons proving the Iranian regime's involvement in the terrorist attack", Reuters reported.

It said that evidence gathered so far suggests the attacks were not launched from Yemen, as the Houthi rebels have claimed, but from Iran.

Both Saudi Arabia and the US have suggested that the attacks were directly carried out by Iranian armed forces rather than its regional proxies.

The Saudi investigation will reveal "compelling forensic evidence" as to the origin of the attacks, one US official told Reuters.

Another US official told the news agency that the attack was launched from southwestern Iran, while others have said cruise missiles and drones were used to target the Abqaiq plant - the world's largest oil processing facility - and the Khurais oil field, both in eastern Saudi Arabia.

If Iran were to be shown to be directly involved in the strikes then it would mark a sharp escalation in tensions between Tehran and its adversaries - the US and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi King Salman met with his cabinet and said that the kingdom is capable of responding to the attacks and the world should act "regardless of their origin".

"This cowardly attack on the largest and most important crude oil processing plants in the world is an extension of repeated attacks on vital facilities which threatened the freedom of navigation and affected the stability of the growth of the global economy," a statement following the meeting read on Wednesday.

The US has warned that it would be ready to respond to the attacks.

"We're locked and loaded and we're ready to defend our interests and allies in the region, make no mistake about it," he said, echoing President Donald Trump's words on Monday.

"We're locked and loaded and we're ready to defend our interests and allies in the region, make no mistake about it," Vice-President Mike Pence said on Tuesday, echoing a tweet by President Donald Trump.

Despite the attacks having a huge impact on global oil supplies, Saudi Arabia has said it has recovered and production is back on track.

Not all world leaders are convinced by the Saudi and US assessment of the attacks.

"We are not aware of any information that points to Iran," Japan Defence Minister Taro Kono said.

"We believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility."

Saturday morning's attacks on the two oil installations follow earlier attacks on pipelines that were said to have originated from Iraq.

Sources have told CNN and other outlets that they believe this weekend's strikes originated from Iran.

 

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