Saudi says two pumping stations for major oil pipeline 'attacked by drones'

Ann Santiago
Мая 15, 2019

Also Tuesday, drone attacks by Iran-aligned rebels in Yemen shut down one of Saudi Arabia's main oil pipelines, further ratcheting up Gulf tensions after the mysterious sabotage of the tankers. A fire broke out and firefighters later brought it under control, though the state-run Saudi Aramco stopped pumping oil through the pipeline.

Saudi Arabia said earlier that two of its oil tankers were among those attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, incidents which ratcheted up tensions in the world's top oil-exporting region. Other U.S. officials have suggested initial assessments indicate that Iran or its proxies played a hand in the attacks.

Tensions have risen in the year since President Donald Trump withdrew the USA from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, restoring U.S. sanctions that have pushed Iran's economy into crisis.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement that one of the two Saudi vessels attacked was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude from Ras Tanura port for delivery to state-owned Saudi Aramco's customers in the US.

"It reaffirms the importance of addressing all the terrorist groups carrying out such acts of sabotage, including the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen".

Oil prices rose by almost 2% at one point on Monday in the wake of the Saudi claims of sabotage.

Iran and the United States have engaged in a war of words in recent weeks since Tehran began to roll back commitments set out in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Two Saudi oil tankers, a Norwegian-flagged vessel, and a bunkering tanker flagged in Sharjah, one of the UAE's seven emirates, all suffered similar damage Sunday.

When past year, Trump pulled out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the rest of signatories in the pact- UK, France, Germany, China, Russia and Iran- had criticised the United States and vowed to remain a part of the deal. He said the UAE had sought USA help in the investigation and Washington was glad to provide this.

Читайте также: MRI Confirms Kevin Durant Calf Strain; Out Of Rockets Playoff Series

The Saudi statement came just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets aired false reports of explosions at Fujairah's port. Emirati officials have declined to elaborate on the nature of the sabotage or say who might have been responsible.

Oil prices nevertheless jumped on Tuesday morning after news of the drone attack coming soon after the weekend's oil tanker sabotage.

In Europe, there are concerns that the US and Iran could stumble into a military confrontation.

The United States has strengthened its military presence in the region, including deploying a number of strategic B-52 bombers in response to alleged Iranian threats.

India is helping Iran develop Chabahar Port on the Gulf of Oman for trade with Afghanistan and Central Asia, bypassing Pakistan, which has refused to provide New Delhi access through a land route. On Monday, asked about if he was seeking regime change in Iran, Mr. Trump said: "We'll see what happens with Iran".

But even as the president sought to brush off the report, he added that he would "send a hell of lot more" troops if he did have to respond to a military attack from Iran.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold talks with his counterpart in the Indian capital on May 14 after New Delhi stopped purchases of Iranian oil this month in the wake of renewed USA sanctions.

The heavy-handedness of Saudi Arabia's operations in Yemen has indeed wrought global condemnation.

При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
«» 2007 - 2019 Copyright.
Автоматизированное извлечение информации сайта запрещено.

Код для вставки в блог

Other reports by

Discuss This Article