Saudi Arabia Blames Iran for a Drone Attack

Saudi Arabia Blames Iran for a Drone Attack

Accusing Iran of Tuesday's attack on Saudi oil-pumping stations and on oil tankers off the coast of Fujairah in the UAE two days earlier, the paper advocated "decisive, punitive reaction to what happened so that Iran knows that every single move they make will have consequences".

Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering this week's attack on key oil facilities, stoking concerns that the world's largest oil-producing region is edging toward another war.

"These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran", al-Falih said on Tuesday.

The Saudi-led coalition acknowledged in a statement it had struck a number of Houthi targets on Thursday, including what it said were weapons depots and military sites.

There are some suggestions, then, that Iran is aiming to disrupt, or at least show it is capable of disrupting, the global oil markets through these attacks. The US military's Central Command said its troops were on high alert, without elaborating.

Last week, United States officials said they had detected signs of Iranian preparations for potential attacks on USA forces and interests in the Middle East but did not provide any evidence to back up the claims.

But foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later said there was "no possibility" of negotiations to reduce tensions, describing USA pressure as an "act of suicide".

Fears have grown out of President Donald Trump's decision a year ago to withdraw the USA from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and impose wide-reaching sanctions - the latest levied as recently as last week - that have crippled Iran's economy.

Last week, the United States sent the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, its strike group, and B-52 bombers to the Gulf.

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 USA troops.

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Of course, tension between the United States and Iran had already been heightened after the cancelation of the JCPOA, the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organisation, and the imposition of new sanctions on Iran.

A senior British officer in the US -backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group appeared to push back against the USA claims, telling reporters earlier in the week that there'd been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. Maj.

It was revealed today that two Saudi tankers - one due to pick up oil destined for America - were left with "significant damage" after being sabotaged off the UAE on Sunday. His comments exposed worldwide skepticism over the United States military buildup.

A top Emirati diplomat said late Wednesday the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen would "retaliate hard" for attacks on civilian targets, without elaborating.

Oil climbed for a third day, with Brent rising 1.4% to $72.8 in London, as Middle East tensions and falling US gasoline stockpiles kept investors on edge.

On Wednesday, Iran-aligned Houthi rebels launched a coordinated drone attack on a critical oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia, Tehran's biggest rival in the region.

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.

Though Iran maintains its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, scientists say the time needed to reach the 90 per cent threshold for weapons-grade uranium is halved once uranium is enriched to around 20 per cent.

The Qatar-funded satellite news broadcaster Al-Jazeera says that Doha is trying to "defuse escalating tensions" across the Persian Gulf.

Qatar has grown closer to Iran diplomatically over the past two years after four Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, cut ties to protest its regional policies.

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