WASHINGTON: The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has accused Iran of being responsible for attacks on Saudi oil plants that could lead to the temporary loss of more than 5% of global oil supply.
Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for Saturday’s drone attack. But Pompeo, Donald Trump’s top diplomat, blamed the attacks squarely on Iran writing on Twitter that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen”.
“Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply,” Pompeo said.
“Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [President Hassan] Rouhani and [foreign minister Javad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy,” he said.
On Saturday, before Pompeo’s tweet, the White House said Trump had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, “to offer his support for Saudi Arabia’s self-defense”.
The attack comes as tensions have been rising between the Washington and Tehran, after Trump withdrew the US from a nuclear deal between world powers and the Islamic Republic
A military spokesman for the Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, saying 10 drones had been deployed. The attack came after weeks of similar drone assaults on Saudi oil infrastructure, but none of the earlier strikes appeared to have caused such damage
The war in Yemen has become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, pushing the country to the brink of famine and killing more than 90,000 people, according to the US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or Acled.