Saturday's attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oil field halved the kingdom's oil output. (File Photo)
Iran has sent the United States a diplomatic note denying any role in attacks on Saudi oil installations and warning of a response to any action, state media said Wednesday. The formal memo sent on Monday through the Swiss embassy, which represents US interests in Tehran, "emphasised that Iran has not played any role in this attack and denies and condemns" the US claims to the contrary, the official IRNA news agency said.
Meanwhile, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday Yemenis targeted Saudi oil facilities as a "warning" about a possible wider war in response to the kingdom's US-backed intervention in their conflict-ravaged country. "The Yemenis... haven't hit a hospital, they haven't hit a school, they haven't hit Sanaa bazaar. They just hit an industrial centre... to warn you," Rouhani said after a cabinet meeting. "Learn lessons from this warning and consider that there could be a war in the region," he said, in a likely address to the rulers of Saudi Arabia which has spent billions of dollars on US weapons.
Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the strikes but a US official said Tuesday that the administration of President Donald Trump concluded the attacks involved cruise missiles from Iran. Saudi Arabia, which has been bogged down in a five-year war in Yemen, has said the weapons used in the attacks were Iranian-made but has not directly blamed its regional arch-rival.
Tehran has repeatedly denied accusations from Washington and Riyadh that it arms the Huthis. Saturday's attacks on Saudi energy giant Aramco's Abqaiq processing plant and Khurais oil field halved the kingdom's oil output.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's energy minister has said that more than half of the country's daily crude oil production that was knocked out by an attack had been recovered and that production capacity at its targeted plants would be fully restored by the end of the month. "Where would you find a company in this whole world that went through such a devastating attack and came out like a phoenix?" Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday about the state-owned Saudi Aramco, which was the target of the attacks. His question to reporters, many of them Saudi, drew applause.
The state-run company's ability to quickly recover from an attack of this magnitude on its most important processing facility highlights not only its resilience, but its importance as the kingdom's crown jewel.