Iran: Attacks on Saudi oil assets “legitimate”

The Saudi-led military coalition that is battling Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels has announced that according to preliminary findings, ‘the attack on the oil plants over the weekend was carried out with Iranian weapons at the behest of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards.’ Saudi-led coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said:  “The weapons that were used in the terrorist attack – whether it be in Abqaiq or Khurais — initial evidence shows that these weapons are Iranian weapons and we are investigating this and we will announce the findings. Initial findings show that the terrorist attack did not originate from Yemeni territories as claimed by the Houthi militia. These militia are merely tools in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard; vehicles used to further the agenda and requirements of the Revolutionary Guard and the Iranian terrorist regime.”

While Islamic Republic reject the allegations levelled against it by its arch-regional-rival Saudi Arabia; Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – who is currently in Ankara for a trilateral meeting with his Turkish and Russian counterparts – declared the attacks against the Kingdom’s oil installations were “a (legitimate) reciprocal response by Yemen.” He further said that: “Yemeni people are exercising their legitimate right of defense. The attacks are reciprocal and the main solution is to halt these attacks. The solution for Yemeni crisis is also political. We believe in that.”

Meanwhile in Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that his administration could respond with disproportionate force to the oil facility attack, once confirmation of the country responsible is definitive. Speaking alongside the Crown Prince of the Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain, President Trump emphasized that while all indications point an accusatory finger at the Islamic Republic, the United States will not respond until it receives final verification. The U.S. leader said: “But I will tell you that was a very large attack. And it could be met with an attack many many times larger, very easily by our country. But we’re going to find out who definitively did it first.”

Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has declared that the only way his country’s officials would agree to meet with their American counterparts, is if the Trump Administration would repent for its words and actions, and return to the 2015 nuclear agreement. In a speech to Iranian seminary students, the country’s supreme leader emphasized that unless these conditions are met, the Islamic Republic will reject any rapprochement with the United States. In his words: “If the U.S. took back its words, if they repent and return to the agreement they breached, if they became a member country of the contract (JCPOA) parties, then they can participate in the group of countries negotiating with Iran. Without doing so no negotiation will take place at any level between the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Americans. Neither in New York, nor anywhere else.”