Iran Sees Houthis' Attacks on Saudi Oil Facilities as Defensive Steps by Yemen's Government

© REUTERS / Hamad I MohammedWorkers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019
Workers are seen at the damaged site of Saudi Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 20, 2019 - Sputnik International
Earlier, Riyadh claimed that the projectiles that struck two key Saudi Aramco oil production facilities, in Abqaiq and Khurais, earlier in September were produced in Iran and were fired from the direction of Iranian territory.

Tehran considers the Houthis' attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia to have been a defensive measure launched by what it considers to be the legitimate government of Yemen, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

In the early hours of 14 September, a drone attack targeted Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais oil processing facilities, forcing the national oil company to shut them down. This resulted in a more than a twofold drop in Saudi Arabia's daily net oil output, as the country suspended the production of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.

Although Yemen's Houthi movement has claimed the responsibility for the attacks, the United States and Saudi Arabia have put the blame on Iran. Tehran has denied having any role in the incident.

The Saudi Aramco attacks came amid increased tension in the Middle East and in the Gulf region primarily due to the unilateral withdrawal by the Trump administration in 2018 from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as Iran nuclear deal, which envisaged the dismantling of Tehran's nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief for the Islamic republic.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces and the Houthi rebels for several years. The Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi's request since March 2015.

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