Rouhani says ‘Yemenis’ attacked Saudi oil facilities as a ‘warning’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Yemeni attacked Saudi Aramco oil facilities. (File photo: AFP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that “Yemenis” attacked Saudi Aramco oil facilities as a “warning,” Iranian news agencies reported.

Rouhani says the Iran-backed Houthis had attacked Saudi oil facilities at the weekend as a “warning”, in response to the Arab Coalition's activities in Yemen. Rouhani blamed the Arab Coalition for the start of the conflict in the region, according to Iranian news agencies, and added that US accusations that Iran was behind an attack on Saudi oil sites were aimed at increasing pressure on Tehran.

“We don't want conflict in the region ... Who started the conflict? Not the Yemenis. It was Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, America, certain European countries and the Zionist regime (Israel) which started the war in this region,” Rouhani said in a video carried by Iranian media.

"While exerting psychological and economic pressure on the Iranian people (through sanctions), they want to impose maximum ... pressure on Iran through slander," Rouhani added. "Meanwhile, no one believes these accusations."

Iran's defense minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami added to Rouhani's comments and denied that Tehran had any role in the attacks on Saudi Aramco's oil installations, the semi-official Tasnim news agency said on Wednesday.

"Rejecting comments about Iran's role in the operation, [Hatami] said the issue is very clear: There has been a conflict between two countries [Yemen and Saudi Arabia]," Tasnim said.

Multiple reports have quoted US intelligence sources as saying that the attack originated from Iran. US President Donald Trump previously said on Monday that it was “looking like” Iran was responsible for the attack.

The Arab coalition said on Monday that they were continuing the investigation with the relevant authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and that the initial investigation indicated that the weapons used in the attack which targeted oil facilities in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais were Iranian.

-Developing

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:00 - GMT 07:00
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