Iran doubles down on Saudi attack denial

Tehran: Iran on Monday rebuked the US claims that it was behind drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil establishments that halved the country’s oil output and sent prices skyrocketing.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday blamed Iran and said there was no evidence to suggest the attacks were carried out from Yemen despite the fact they were claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
US President Donald Trump said his country’s intelligence had an evidence pointing to a culprit, although he failed to specify who he thought was behind the attack. He said the US was “locked and loaded” and was just waiting for input from Riyadh.
Denying the claims made by the US, Iranian Foreign Minister’s spokesman Abbas Mousavi said: “These accusations are unacceptable and completely unfounded.”
“The Saudi-led coalition with Western powers has committed extensive war crimes in Yemen and it is natural that the people and the Yemeni Army responds to those,” he added. The Houthis — a Shia militia engaged in a protracted civil war against the internationally-recognized Yemeni government, which has the military support of a Saudi-led coalition — claimed responsibility for Saturday’s bombing by 10 unmanned aircraft of two refineries belonging to Aramco.
On Monday, they warned they could carry out further attacks against the company. In the wake of the attack, Riyadh dropped its oil output by 50 per cent.
Speaking to the US media, several unnamed intelligence sources said they had evidence suggesting that, contrary to the Houthi claims, Iran had launched a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 unmanned drones from its territory.
Riyadh and Washington have accused Iran of arming the rebel forces.
After the bombing on Saturday, Brent crude, the global gauge of oil prices, jumped 10.5 per cent to $66.56 per barrel after closing at $60.23 on Friday.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia are still investigating the attack which came amid speculation that Trump could meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly set to be held in New York City. (IANS)