Aramco fire
Smoke billows following a fire at the Aramco facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on September 14, 2019. Image Credit: Reuters

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have confirmed that initial investigations into attacks on the oil processing facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais showed that Iranian weapons were used in the unprovoked predawn raids. Those attacks knocked out roughly 5 per cent of the global oil supply — a mindless act of terrorism that has ramifications far beyond the actual plants in north east Saudi Arabia themselves. The attack shows that Iran and its proxies in Yemen, Al Houthis, have chosen to embark on a very dangerous path indeed.

Let’s be clear — Al Houthis began their campaign of terror as a ragtag group. By overthrowing the legitimate government in Yemen, the militia embarked on a course of action that resulted in the United Nations Security Council to mandate an international Arab coalition to restore the legitimate government and bring stability to that nation. By arming, aiding and abetting Al Houthi rebels, the regime in Tehran is wilfully obstructing the international community.

And by providing sophisticated weaponry, such as missiles and technologically advanced drones to its proxies, Iran bears the ultimate responsibility for these destructive and reckless attacks on the global oil supply. Similarly, its actions in the Arabian Gulf and in neighbouring waters to interrupt and disrupt maritime traffic engaged in delivering petrochemical products is also an act of extreme provocation and economic terrorism.

It is truly shocking how the Iranian regime is attempting to undermine the stability and security of the entire region

- Gulf News

Together, these incidents — attacks on tankers, the seizure of tankers, attacks on pipelines, and now a daring attack on oil processing installations — show that Tehran is intent on wrecking international norms and cause economic chaos by disrupting global oil supplies.

Pertinently Washington has blamed the attacks on Iran while President Donald Trump told media that he will await Saudi Arabia’s investigation. Jens Stoltenberg, the chief of Nato, has gone ahead and blamed Tehran for stoking violence, adding: “Iran is supporting different terrorist groups and being responsible for destabilising the whole region.” Here in the UAE, Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs noted that justifying the unprecedented terrorist attack on Aramco facilities by linking it to developments in Yemen “is totally unacceptable. The attack is a dangerous escalation in itself.”

More on the issue

As global markets look towards the unfolding situation, there is little doubt that Iran’s behaviour has been inexcusable. Since Tehran alone possesses the technology used in the latest attacks, it is truly shocking how the Iranian regime is attempting to undermine the stability and security of the entire region.