Economy

Saudi oil pumping stations 'attacked by drones'

Saudi oil pumping stations 'attacked by drones'

For the second day in a row Tuesday, attackers targeted equipment of Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure - this time oil pumping stations for a major oil pipeline.

"As a precautionary measure, the company temporarily shut down the pipeline, and contained the fire which caused minor damage to pump station 8".

In possibly related news, four oil tankers in the Middle East - two owned by Saudi Arabia, one owned by the United Arab Emirates and one owned by Norway - were recently damaged by what Saudi and US officials described as "sabotage" attacks, according to CBS News.

USA and allied intelligence assessments indicate Iran was also behind sabotaging two Saudi oil tankers on Monday.

A US official familiar with American intelligence said Iran was a leading candidate for having carried out the attacks but the United States does not have conclusive proof.

The strait, a vital global oil and gas shipping route, separates the Gulf states and Iran, which has been embroiled in an escalating war of words with the United States over sanctions and the US military's presence in the region.

"These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran".

Despite that stance, his government has taken an increasingly hard line with Iran, a longtime foe of the United States and key USA allies Israel and Saudi Arabia. The deal, in addition to monitoring and limiting Iran's nuclear regime, also provided a forum for talks between the signatories.

Several oil tankers were reportedly attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points.

As Common Dreams reported last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged diplomacy in a speech detailing his nation's plan to gradually reduce compliance with some of the terms of the nuclear deal to pressure European countries to uphold their side of the agreement.

More news: 'Innocent, cheerful, caring': readers' tribute to Doris Day

Last week, Iran announced that it would stop implementing some of its commitments to the JCPOA in response to the us withdrawal from the nuclear deal, giving the other remaining parties to the deal a 60-day ultimatum to comply with their commitments. Brent was trading at $71.37 a barrel by 1715 GMT, up 1.62%.

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation denounced the "cowardly act of terrorism and sabotage" on Saudi oil pumping stations and said it was aimed at undermining the safety of the world's global energy supplies and economy.

The attack did not lead to any casualties or an oil spill but caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels, he added.

In Europe, there are concerns that the USA and Iran could stumble into a military confrontation.

The announcement by the Iranian leader comes amid increasing tensions between the Islamic Republic and the U.S., which has recently increased its military presence in the Middle East in order to counter Tehran. (Maxar Technologies/The Associated Press) A boom was around the A. Michel, suggesting a possible oil leak.

Bahrain, Egypt and Yemen's internationally recognised governments similarly condemned the alleged sabotage. The ministry' spokesman, Abbas Mousavi, was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying there should be more information about the incident.

The heavy-handedness of Saudi Arabia's operations in Yemen has indeed wrought global condemnation.

On a trip to Russia, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined to comment on the report during a news conference in Sochi with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, but did say "we do not seek war with Iran".

"I'm hearing little stories about Iran", Trump added. The U.S. has long advised its citizens against travel to Iraq, but the renewed warning followed Washington's deployment of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to unspecified "threats" by Iran.


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