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The Latest: Zarif: Don't blame Iran for Saudi oil attacks

Posted on Sunday, September 15th, 2019 By The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on the tensions in the Persian Gulf a day after Iran-backed Yemeni rebels attacked major oil sites in Saudi Arabia (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

Iran's foreign minister says that blaming Iran for Yemeni rebel attacks on major Saudi oil sites will not end the war in the Arab world's most impoverished country — but that talks might.

Mohammad Javad Zarif also said in a tweet on Sunday that "Having failed at 'max pressure', U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo turning to 'max deceit'."

He also says: "US & its clients are stuck in Yemen because of illusion that weapon superiority will lead to military victory."

Zarif also tweeted: "Blaming Iran won't end disaster. Accepting our April '15 proposal to end war & begin talks may."

Late Saturday, Pompeo directly blamed Iran for the attack on major Saudi oil sites, without offering evidence to support his claim.

___

1:15 p.m.

Iraq is denying that its country was the site from where Yemeni-rebel drones were launched to attack Saudi oil installations.

The statement came from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi's office on Sunday.

It says Iraq would act "decisively" if anyone tried to use its territory to attack other countries.

U.S. officials previously alleged at least one recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iraq, where Iran backs Shiite militias, something denied by Baghdad. Those militias in recent weeks have been targeted themselves by mysterious airstrikes, with at least one believed to have been carried out by Israel.

___

12:10 p.m.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has dismissed the U.S. accusation that it was behind an attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure the day before, calling it part of Washington's policy of "maximum lies."

Abbas Mousavi made the statement on Sunday.

He says Washington adopted a 'maximum pressure' policy against Iran but because of "its failure, (the U.S.) is leaning toward 'maximum lies'" now.

Saturday's drone attacks by Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels have halted about half of Saudi oil supplies after hitting the kingdom's biggest oil processing facility and a major oil field.

They set off huge fires and led to a suspension of "production operations" at the Abqaiq facility and the Khurais field.

President Donald Trump called the Saudi crown prince after the attack, expressing U.S. support for the kingdom's security and stability.

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