Not behind Saudi attacks, but ready for war, says Iran
Dubai, September 15
Iran dismissed accusations by the United States that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants that risk disrupting global energy supplies and warned on Sunday that US bases and aircraft carriers in the region were in range of its missiles.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attacks that knocked out more than half of Saudi oil output or more than 5% of global supply, but United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of engineering the attack.
The drone strikes on plants in the heartland of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, including the world’s biggest petroleum processing facility, are expected to send oil prices up $3-$5 per barrel on Monday as tensions rise in the Middle East.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi, speaking on state TV, dismissed the allegation levelled by the US as “pointless”. A senior Revolutionary Guards commander warned that the Islamic Republic was ready for “full-fledged” war. “Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 km around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Commander Amirali Hajizadeh as saying.
State oil giant Saudi Aramco said the attack cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day, about half the kingdom’s production, at a time when Aramco is trying to ready itself for what is expected to be the world’s largest share sale. Aramco gave no timeline for output resumption but said early Sunday it would give a progress update in around 48 hours. A source said the return to full oil capacity could take "weeks, not days". — Reuters