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Iran on Sunday denied U.S. accusations that it was behind Saturday's drone strikes on two major oil sites in Saudi Arabia, which forced Saudi Aramco to suspend its production output by half.
Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are backed by Iran in a civil war against a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the attacks, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Tehran, arguing there was "no evidence the attacks came from Yemen."
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
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 14, 2019
Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said Pompeo was "turning to 'max deceit'" after "having failed at 'max pressure,;" and Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, called Pompeo's allegations "pointless."
Regardless of whether Pompeo's claims are correct, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia already accuse Tehran of providing Houthi forces with military equipment and training. So, if the rebels did in fact launch the attacks, it is unlikely Washington would ignore Iran's potential role in the incident.
The situation is just the latest example of heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington, which have risen since the U.S. departed the 2015 nuclear pact and placed sanctions on Iran. Read more at The Washington Post.