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Iran Dismisses Blame of Involvement In Attack On Saudi Oil Plant, Threatens U.S. Forces

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media.

As alleged Houthi drone attacks on Saudi oil establishments on Saturday has led to the most serious escalation resulting from Iran and Saudi proxy war, Tehran has dismissed U.S. accusations of involvement in the attacks.

Abbas Mousavi, the Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Sunday September 15 dismissed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's remarks blaming Iran, saying the "Such remarks are similar to planning by secret intelligence organizations preparing for future actions," however, he did not elaborate on what he thought "future actions" were.

Following the attacks on Saudi oil installations, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called for U.S. military strikes on Iran's refineries in retaliation for the Houthi attacks on Aramco establishments in Saudi Arabia.

In an apparent response to U.S. accusations, an Iranian revolutionary guards (IRGC) commander warned U.S. forces that their bases and warships in the region are within the range of Iranian missiles.

The attacks on the Abqaiq plant and Khurais oilfield have cut Saudi Arabia’s oil output in half, the Telegraph reported on Sunday. The Saudi National Oil Company reported the production shutdown has caused a loss of about 5.7 million barrels a day, which roughly amounts to 5% of the world’s daily supply of crude oil.

The Wall Street Journal quoted Houthi rebels as saying "they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen."

Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, with a spokesman saying: "The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us."

Pompeo had said on Saturday that Iran was behind about 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia. Mousavi responded on Sunday that "The Americans are following a policy of maximum pressure against Iran. The policy appears to have turned into maximum lying."

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif repeated the same comment in a tweet later on Sunday. He wrote: "Having failed at maximum pressure, Secretary Pompeo is turning to maximum deceit," adding that "U.S. and its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory."

Meanwhile, Mousavi ruled out Pompeo's remarks as "accusations and blind, meaningless and incomprehensible comments," adding that U.S. officials even do not observe "a minimum of principles."

In the meantime, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy responded to Pompeo's remarks, which he said "assumed Houthis and Iran to be the same."

Riyadh first reported that the fire in its oil establishment has been controlled, however, later reports indicate serious disruption in oil production in Saudi Arabia.

Some sources have told news agencies such as Reuters and Bloomberg that Saudi Arabia's daily oil output has been reduced to five million barrels per day. Riyadh has assured the West of compensating the reduction in the world market which resulted from U.S. sanctions against Iran's oil export.

Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani had said repeatedly that "if Iran cannot export its oil no other country in the region would be able to export oil via the Persian Gulf."

Although Iran has dismissed accusations of involvement in the attack on Sunday, on the same day the Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force Amirali Hajizadeh repeated a threat on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers were within range of Iranian missiles.

Hajizadeh said: “Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers around Iran are within the range of our missiles.”