Iran's aggression threatens the world, not just the Gulf

Iran's aggression threatens the world, not just the Gulf

A Saudi oil pipeline was attacked by drones, causing "limited damage", the Saudi energy minister said on Tuesday, only one day after Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers had been sabotaged.

Iran insists on exporting at least 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil, triple May's expected levels under USA sanctions, as a condition for staying in an global nuclear deal, sources with knowledge of Iran-EU talks said.

The state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco temporarily shut down the pipeline to evaluate its condition and was working to restore operations, while a fire which broke out at one of the pump stations has since been contained, according to Falih.

Houthi media reported a drone operation against Saudi installations, but did not specifically identify the pipeline as the target.

A UAE government official said the Saudi oil tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad were attacked off the emirate of Fujairah along with the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and an Emirati ship, the A Michel.

Tuesday's attacks on the pumping stations more than 200 miles (320 km) west of Riyadh and Sunday's on four tankers off Fujairah emirate have raised concerns that the United States and Iran might inching toward military conflict. The UAE also did not provide any details about the attack saying only that there were no casualties and the port of Fujairah was operating as usual. In retaliation, Tehran declared last week that it would restart enriching uranium at higher levels if the global powers do not negotiate fresh terms for the deal.

'We've seen this reporting, ' Pompeo said.

Mr Motahhari told FARS news agency: "The US military forces" deployment in the Persian Gulf is more of the nature of psychological warfare.

Falih denounced the drone attack as "cowardly" and an "act of terrorism".

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Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE have publicly blamed Iran for the attack so far.

Those drones have been flown into the radar arrays of Saudi Arabia's Patriot missile batteries, according to the research group Conflict Armament Research, disabling them and allowing the Houthis to fire ballistic missiles into the kingdom unchallenged.

Saudi Arabia said Tuesday it stopped pumping on a major oil pipeline after it was hit by a coordinated drone attack by Iran-allied Yemen Houthi rebels.

A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned on Sunday that the presence of a USA aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf used to be a serious threat, but now represents a target, according to the Iranian Students' News Agency. With exports uninterrupted, and Saudi production anyway well below capacity because of adherence to the Opec+ deal to curb production, the physical impact of these two incidents is insignificant.

Analysts said the U.S.

"Heightened geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and anticipation that the United States and China could still reach an amicable solution to their trade dispute have rendered support to oil prices", said Abhishek Kumar, head of analytics at Interfax Energy in London.

About 30% of all seaborne oil exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz from Middle East crude producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.

In an assessment he prepared shortly before the current crisis began, he said Tehran seeks to exact a cost against the United States following a year in which it relied on "strategic patience" in the hopes of receiving compensation from the European countries after American sanctions were imposed.

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