World News

Saudi Arabia says oil facility attacks target world supplies

Saudi Arabia says oil facility attacks target world supplies

Tensions have been rising in the Gulf since the United States stopped granting waivers to buyers of Iranian oil and slapped crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

President Trump, asked Thursday about the prospect of a war with Iran, replied, "I hope not."

"The attack by the Iranian-backed Huthi militias against the two Aramco pumping stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran's regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region", he wrote on Twitter. He said an investigation of the attack on the four ships, which includes Saudi and Norwegian vessels, is being conducted with the help of American and French investigators and it's expected to be completed within days.

"We call for a decisive, punitive reaction to what happened so that Iran knows that every single move they make will have consequences", the opinion piece argued.

"The proud nation of Islamic Iran will once again... pass this sensitive period of time with its head held high", Hatami said.

Recent days have seen allegations of sabotage targeting oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, a drone attack by Yemen's Iranian-allied Houthi rebels, and the dispatch of US warships and bombers to the region.

The ministry says 41 people were also wounded, including two women of Russian nationality.

A coalition statement carried by Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, said the Sunni Muslim alliance struck military bases and facilities and weapons storage sites with the aim of "neutralising the ability of the Houthi militia to carry out acts of aggression".

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis since 2015, and carries out near-daily airstrikes. The drone attacks on a Saudi pipeline Tuesday that were claimed by the Houthis marked one of the rebels' deepest and most significant strikes inside Saudi territory since the conflict began.

Читайте также: In southern Afghanistan, NATO airstrikes kill up to 18 police officers

At the root of this appears to be President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to pull the USA from Iran's nuclear deal with world powers, embarking on a maximalist sanctions campaign against Tehran.

The United Arab Emirates warned the Western-backed coalition, of which it is a main member, would "retaliate hard" for any Houthi attacks on coalition targets.

Iran also said there's no basis for Team Trump's warning of heightened threats.

The movement of diplomatic personnel is often done in times of conflict, but what is driving the decisions from the White House remains unclear.

On Wednesday, the USA cited threats as it ordered its non-emergency government staff to leave Iraq. Iraq is home to powerful pro-Iranian militias, while also hosting more than 5,000 United States troops.

Tehran has called the USA military presence "a target" rather than a threat, and said it would not allow its oil exports to be halted.

A spokesman for the Iranian Mission to the United Nations insisted Thursday that Tehran poses no threat and has no intention of attacking USA assets. Gen. Chris Ghika's comments exposed worldwide skepticism over the American military buildup.

Tehran is threatening to resume higher enrichment on July 7 if no new nuclear deal is in place, beyond the 3.67% permitted by the current deal between Tehran and world powers. It, however, granted a six-month waiver from sanctions to eight countries - China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, and Greece - but with a condition that they would reduce their purchases of Iranian oil.

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