US believes Saudi oil attacks came from southwest Iran: official

A satellite image showing damage to oil/gas Saudi Aramco infstructure at Abqaiq , in Saudi Arabia in this handout released by the US Government September 15,2019. US government/ Digital Globe/Handout via Reuters ​

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SULAIMANI – The United States believes the attacks that crippled Saudi Arabian oil facilities last weekend originated in southwestern Iran, a US official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Three officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the attacks involved both cruise missiles and drones, indicating that it involved a higher degree of complexity and sophistication than initially thought.

US President Donald Trump on Monday said it looked as if Iran was behind the attacks but Washington has not produced concrete evidence to support its accusation, and Iran denies involvement in the strikes.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday ruled out talks with the United States unless the Trump administration returns to the nuclear accord between Iran and the West that the United States abandoned last year.

Saudi Arabia sought to reassure markets on Tuesday after the attack on Saturday halved oil output.

The kingdom’s oil production is fully back online after the attacks and Saudi Arabia will achieve 11 million barrels per day (bpd) capacity by the end of September and 12 million bpd by the end of November, the energy minister said on Tuesday.

Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also told a news conference that oil production in October would be 9.89 million bpd and that the world’s top oil exporter would keep full oil supplies to customers this month.

He said Saudi Arabia would keep its role as the secure supplier of global oil markets, adding that the kingdom needed to take strict measures to prevent further attacks.

(NRT Digital Media/ Reuters)