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Saudi Arabia vows to respond to oil attacks with 'necessary measures'
BBC
Sat, 21 Sep 2019 17:46

Saudi Arabia vows to respond to oil attacks with 'necessary measures'

BBC
Sat, 21 Sep 2019 17:46

Saudi Arabia vows to respond to oil attacks with 'necessary measures'


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Saudi Arabia says it will respond with "necessary measures" to attacks on two oil facilities as it reiterated the accusation that Iran was behind them.Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said the weapons used were Iranian and vowed to release the full findings of the investigation.Iran denies involvement in the attacks.Earlier, a senior Iranian military official said Iran was ready to destroy any aggressor after the US announced it was sending troops to Saudi Arabia.Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have said they were responsible for the drone and missile strikes on 14 September that affected the global oil supply.Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated since US President Donald Trump abandoned a deal limiting Irans nuclear activities last year and reinstated sanctions.Saudi Arabia: Take a standSpeaking to reporters in Riyadh, Mr Jubeir said Saudi Arabia was in consultation with its allies and would take necessary and suitable measures after its investigation was complete, without giving details of possible actions. He repeated that the strikes targeting the Abqaiq oil facility and the Khurais oil field had come from the north and not from Yemen but did not give a specific location, and urged the international community to take a stand."The kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility in condemning those that stand behind this act, and to take a firm and clear position against this reckless behaviour that threatens the global economy," he said.The Saudi defence ministry showed off on Wednesday what it said were the remains of drones and cruise missiles proving Iranian involvement.

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The US has also accused Iran of being behind the attacks, and unnamed senior officials have told US media that the evidence suggests the strikes originated in the south of Iran.On Friday, Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said the US would send a yet-to-be-decided number of troops to Saudi Arabia to boost the countrys air and missile defences.President Trump then announced new sanctions against Iran, focusing on the countrys central bank and its sovereign wealth fund, while signalling that he wanted to avoid military conflict.



Customary condemnation



The news conference in the glittering halls of Saudi Arabias foreign ministry was fairly predictable in its customary condemnation of Iran.The Islamic Republic, said the eloquent and softly-spoken minister of state for foreign affairs, was to blame for all the mischief-making in the region, including more than 260 ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia by Irans Yemeni allies, the Houthis.He appeared to fully endorse President Donald Trumps controversial policy of maximum pressure on Irans leaders. Adel al-Jubeir made no mention of his countrys bombing campaign in Yemen that, after more than four years, has failed to dislodge the Houthi rebels. Instead, he made it clear that now, in its hour of need, Saudi Arabia needed the support of its western allies more than ever, especially the US and Britain.



Iran: Well pursue any aggressorEarlier, the head of Irans Revolutionary Guard in Iran, Maj Gen Hossein Salami, warned that the countrys "readiness to respond to any aggression is definitive"."Be careful, a limited aggression wont remain limited. Well pursue any aggressor," he said at the opening of an exhibition of captured drones in the capital, Tehran. "Well continue until the full destruction of any aggressor."Why Saudi Arabia and Iran are bitter rivals

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Speaking at the same event, the head of the Guards aerospace branch, Brig Gen Amirali Hajizadeh, said the US ought to learn from its past failures and that any attack on Iran would receive "a crushing response".Irans Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are an elite branch of Irans military and have been designated a terrorist organisation by the US.The background you needThe Houthis have repeatedly launched rockets, missiles and drones at populated areas in Saudi Arabia. They are in conflict with a Saudi-led coalition which backs a president who the rebels had forced to flee when the Yemeni conflict escalated in March 2015.Iran, the regional rival of Saudi Arabia, is an opponent of the US, and tensions between the two have risen markedly this year. The US said Iran was behind attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf in June and July, as well as on another four in May - accusations rejected by Tehran.