Riyadh presents evidence of Iran's involvement

Authorities presented debris of Iranian drones and cruise missiles. "The attack was launched from the North and was undeniably sponsored by Iran," said the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense.

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"The attack was launched from the North and was undeniably sponsored by Iran," Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al Malki told a press conference in Riyadh on Wednesday (September 18th). MAKE NURELDINE / AFP

Saudi Arabia reported on Wednesday (September 18th) the results of its own investigation into attacks on two oil installations in the kingdom and what it presents as material evidence proving the involvement of the Iranian regime.

The attacks were carried out last weekend using Iranian drones Delta and cruise missiles, said Colonel Turki Al-Malki, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. "The attack was launched from the North and was undeniably sponsored by Iran", he said at a press conference.

However, the Saudi leader did not directly accuse Iran of launching the attacks from his territory, only asserting his certainty about the kingdom's ability to find the launching location after the investigation.

Iran denies playing any role in Saturday's attacks, which halved oil production in the kingdom and rocked crude oil prices before pulling back. Yemeni rebels on Wednesday threatened to strike «Dozens of targets in the United Arab Emirates (WATER), including Abu Dhabi and Dubai », said Yahiya Saree, spokesman for Yemeni rebels who claimed Saturday's devastating strikes against Saudi oil facilities.

The UAE is one of the pillars of Saudi Arabia's military coalition in Yemen. The Houthis have threatened the Emirates in the past and claimed strikes that have never been confirmed by the UAE authorities. "If you want peace and security for your facilities and for your glass towers that can not withstand a drone, then leave Yemen alone"said the military spokesman.

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  • UN expert mission

UN experts have been sent to Saudi Arabia to conduct an international probe into the attacks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced. He said that resolution 2231, which ratified the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015, allows for such an international investigation by the UN. "We need to stop this type of escalation", he insisted.

For its part, the Kremlin said that after a telephone conversation with Crown Prince Mohammed Ben Salman, Russian President Vladimir Putin had "Called for a thorough and objective investigation".

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, has also spoken with the crown prince, strongman of the kingdom, and will send experts to participate in the Saudi investigation, according to the Elysee. France intends "Carefully establish the facts" before any reaction, added Wednesday the spokesman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Debris of missiles and drones presented as Iranian by the Saudi Ministry of Defense, at a press conference, Wednesday, September 18.
Debris of missiles and drones presented as Iranian by the Saudi Ministry of Defense, at a press conference, Wednesday, September 18. Amr Nabil / AP

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, on a visit to Saudi Arabia, accused Iran and described the attack as"Act of war". "It was an Iranian attack", told the press the head of the American diplomacy, assuring that she wore "The fingerprints of the ayatollah" Ali Khamenei, the Iranian Supreme Guide. President Trump said he wanted to consult with Riyadh and wait until he was sure Tehran was behind the attacks.

US President and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson discussed the need for "United diplomatic answer" on the part of the international community, report the services of the British Prime Minister. The US president and the British prime minister condemned the attacks, blamed on Iran by Washington.

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  • Tougher US sanctions

Donald Trump said Wednesday have "A lot of options" to answer Iran. "There is the ultimate option and there are options much lower than that", the US president told reporters interrogating him from Los Angeles, alluding to a possible military response to Iran. Trump also said the details of the new sanctions against the Islamic regime would be clarified "In forty-eight hours"a few hours after announcing their hardening "Substantial" on Twitter.

These sanctions, the nature of which is yet to be detailed, will be in addition to the already unprecedented punitive measures imposed by Washington on Tehran since the president withdrew his country in May 2018 from the Iran nuclear deal, which he considers insufficient to prevent the Islamic Republic from acquiring the atomic bomb and destabilizing the Middle East.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Wednesday accused Washington of "Deliberately aim" Iranian civilians and described these measures as"Illegal" and D'"Inhuman".

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