Iran dismisses US claim that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants

Iran dismisses US claim that it was behind attacks on Saudi oil plants
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Iran on Sunday dismissed a U.S. claim that it was behind drone attacks on Saudi oil installations.

“The Americans adopted the ‘maximum pressure’ policy against Iran, which, due to its failure, is leaning toward ‘maximum lies,’” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement, The Associated Press reported.

He also dismissed Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling Russian diplomat says election meddling wasn't discussed at White House, contradicting Trump MORE's accusations as “blind and futile comments,” according to the news service.

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Pompeo late Saturday blamed the drone strikes on Iran, calling them an "unprecedented attack" on the world energy supply

"Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen," he tweeted.

"We call on all nations to publicly and unequivocally condemn Iran’s attacks. The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression," Pompeo added.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also said on Sunday that blaming Tehran won't "end disaster."

"Having failed at 'max pressure', @SecPompeo's turning to 'max deceit,'" Tehran's top diplomat tweeted.

"US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory," he added.

"Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may."

A senior commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard, meanwhile, warned on Sunday that Tehran is ready for a "full-fledged" war, Reuters reported.

“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometres around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” Amirali Hajizadeh reportedly said, the news service noted.

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on Saturday claimed credit for the attacks at the Abqaiq processing facility and the Khurais oil field.

Saudi Arabia's state-run oil company said it would cut output by approximately 5.7 million barrels a day, or roughly 5 percent of the world's crude oil supply, Reuters noted.

Meanwhile, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s office said in a statement on Sunday that the attack did not come from its borders, the AP noted.

Iraq “abides by its constitution that prevents the use of its lands to launch aggressions against neighboring countries,” the statement said.

The already strained relationship between Washington and Tehran began further deteriorating last year when President TrumpDonald John TrumpRepublicans consider skipping witnesses in Trump impeachment trial Bombshell Afghanistan report bolsters calls for end to 'forever wars' Lawmakers dismiss Chinese retaliatory threat to US tech MORE withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era nuclear pact. The administration has since adopted a “maximum pressure” campaign, slapping sanctions on Iran's oil industry, metals sector, foreign minister and supreme leader to force it back to the negotiating table.

The U.S. has also pointed to Iran for its suspected role in bombing oil tankers in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and downing a U.S. surveillance drone. Trump approved a retaliatory strike over the drone in June but aborted the attack after being informed that up to 150 Iranians could be killed.

Saudi Arabia said in May that one of its oil pipelines had come under attack by armed drones launched by Houthi rebels, the first such attack deep within the kingdom's territory.

This developing report was last updated at 7:50 a.m.