US President Donald Trump hosts Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office in March 2017. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

US Blames Iran for Attacks on Saudi Oil Assets

The United States has blamed Iran for coordinating “unprecedented” drone attacks on Saudi oil plants that reportedly cut the kingdom’s output by nearly 50 percent. Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks on two sites, including the world’s largest petroleum processing facility. However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted that there was no evidence the assault originated from Yemen, adding, “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [Iranian President Hassan] Rouhani and [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy.” Pompeo warned that the Trump Administration would work with regional allies to hold Iran accountable for its “aggression.” The assault comes just days after President Donald Trump reiterated a desire to meet with Rouhani this month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. The US leader also kept open the possibility of easing economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic if it agreed to renegotiate the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal. Following the attacks, the White House said it was committed to ensuring that oil markets remain adequately supplied in order to stave off a global financial downturn.

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