Iran ‘ready for war’ following US accusations it was behind attacks on Saudi oil facilities

Iran ‘ready for war’ following US accusations it was behind attacks on Saudi oil facilities
Iran has rejected US accusations that it was behind a crippling attack on Saudi oil facilities as 'meaningless', adding that it has the capacity to attack US bases.
3 min read
15 September, 2019
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that US bases were within reach of Iranian missiles [Getty]
Iran's foreign ministry on Sunday dismissed as "meaningless" US accusations that it was behind drone attacks on Saudi oil installations, suggesting comments made by the US secretary of state were a pretext for military action against the Islamic Republic.

"Such fruitless and blind accusations and remarks are incomprehensible and meaningless," ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying in a statement.

The allegations over Saturday's strikes were meant to justify "future actions" against Iran, he added.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Tehran for the pre-dawn attack, which was claimed by Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement.

Pompeo said that there was no evidence that the attacks, which targeted the key Aramco facilities of Abqaiq and Khurais in eastern Saudi Arabia, were launched from Yemen.

"Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," the top US diplomat tweeted.

"The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression," Pompeo added.

Earlier this year US officials said they had evidence that attacks on Saudi oil facilities claimed by Yemen's Houthis in May were in fact launched by Iran-backed militants in Iraq.

The Iraqi government on Sunday denied that Iraq was involved in any way in the attacks on Saudi oil facilities.

The drones triggered multiple explosions, forcing the state-owned Saudi Aramco oil company to temporarily suspend production at the two facilities and interrupting about half of the company's total output, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said.

The attack came ahead of a much-anticipated listing of Aramco stocks on global markets.

Following Pompeo’s accusations, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday that American bases and aircraft carriers were within range of Iranian missiles.

"Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometres around Iran are within the range of our missiles," the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency.

"Iran has always been ready for a full-fledged war," he added.

Meanwhile, a Yemen expert told The New Arab the Saudi mismanagement of the Yemen conflict has played into the hands of Iran.

"The problem is that we are stuck in the blame game. The Saudis have completely mismanaged the war in Yemen and so have left themselves exposed. They let the UAE take the lead but all the UAE has done is fuel internal divisions in Yemen, playing right into the hands of the Houthis, and, consequently Iran,” she said on condition of anonymity,

"Trump has escalated rhetoric and economic sanctions on Iran. But beyond that, both the US and Saudi Arabia have been pretty much reactionary and not strategic in the way they dealt with Iran," she added.

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