Donald Trump ready to counter attacks on oil installations in Saudi Arabia

The US president for the first time alludes to a possible military response. In the wake of the strikes on Saturday, his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, accused Iran of being responsible.

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Aramco's oil facilities in Abqaq, Saudi Arabia, on 14 September. HAMAD I MOHAMMED / REUTERS

The United States is taking draconian attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia very seriously on Saturday (14 September), which has cut the production of this hydrocarbon, which is strategic for the global economy, by half.

"Saudi Arabia's oil supply has been attacked. There are reasons to believe that we know the culprit, we are ready to retaliate based on the verifications, but we are waiting for the Kingdom (Saudi) tell us who he believes to be the culprit of this attack, and in what form we must act! ", tweeted Sunday Donald Trump, who for the first time alluded to a possible military response.

In a previous tweet, the President of the United States had "Authorized the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve's oil, if necessary, for a quantity that remains to be defined".

Pompeo accuses Iran, Tehran refutes

There is no evidence that this "Unprecedented attack on global energy supply" came from Yemen, said Saturday the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. In doing so, he accused Tehran of being at the origin of the attack and assured that the United States would work to supply the markets.

"Iran launched unprecedented attack on global energy supply"said Pompeo on Twitter. "We call on all countries to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran's attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to supply the energy markets and to hold Iran accountable for its aggression. "

Tehran ruled these charges "Foolish" and "Incomprehensible"by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Abbas Mousavi, who suggested that they were meant to justify "Future actions" against Iran.

Iraq refuted any connection with the attack after the Wall Street Journal reported that US and Saudi officials were investigating the possibility of missiles being fired at oil installations from Iraq.

Beijing, Moscow, EU and UN call for "restraint"

China urged Monday Iran and the United States to " detention ". "In the absence of an indisputable investigation that can draw conclusions, it may not be responsible to imagine who should be held responsible" of this incident, said Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Russia has followed suit, calling "All countries to refrain from any action or hasty conclusion to aggravate the situation but, on the contrary, to maintain a line that will help to appease it"Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday that he hoped that "Saudi Arabia will be able to deal with the damage as soon as possible". Vladimir Putin is due to visit Saudi Arabia in October for an official visit, the date of which will be announced soon, the Kremlin spokesman said.

"Yesterday's attack by drones on two Aramco oil installations in Saudi Arabia poses a real threat to regional security"For its part, also lamented the spokesperson of the head of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini. "It is important to establish the facts clearly and to determine the responsibility for this deplorable attack. At the same time, the European Union reiterates its call for greater restraint and de-escalation ", she said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attacks and called on all parties to "Restraint to prevent escalation", according to his spokesman.

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"Infrastructures vital for the global economy"

The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Ben Salman, whose country is Iran's regional rival, assured that Riyadh was "Willing and able" to react to this "Terrorist aggression". But James Dorsey, a Middle East expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, has estimated direct retaliation unlikely: "The Saudis do not want an open conflict with Iran. (…) They would like others to fight for them, but others are reluctant. "

In a telephone conversation between US President Donald Trump and the Crown Prince, the White House condemned the attacks on "Vital infrastructure for the global economy". But the White House said Trump still did not exclude the possibility of meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rohani despite accusations against Tehran.

United Nations (UN) envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said "Extremely concerned" by the attacks, also condemned by Saudi Arabia's neighbors (the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Kuwait). Paris has expressed 'Solidarity' with Riyadh.

Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), meeting in Jeddah, also condemned the attack. It was unclear whether Iran was present at the OIC meeting, originally convened to review Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plan to annex parts of the West Bank.


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