Thu, 17 Oct 2019

Russian officials sound a note of calm as ideas tensions escalate

By Jay Jackson, Perth News.Net
17 Sep 2019, 04:23 GMT+10

MOSCOW, Russia - A spokesman for the Kremlin has cautioned the international community against jumping to conclusions on who may have been behind the attacks which set Saudi Arabia's chief oil plants on fire on Saturday.

"We have a negative view of the growing tensions in the region and call on all regional and non-regional countries not to make any hasty steps or conclusions that could only exacerbate destabilization," Dmitry Peskov told a press conference in Moscow.

Peskov was responding to a question about U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's allegations, which he aired on Twitter, that Iran was behind the attacks.

Earlier on Monday the al-Houthi rebels who are fighting a Saudi-led coailtion for control of Yemen, claimed responsibility for Saturday's attacks, which they said were carried out by ten drones.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement Monday expressing "serious concern" and "strongly condemned" the strikes, saying they were a direct consequence of the Yemen conflict.

"We strongly recommend not to jump to conclusions about who carried out this attack on the Saudi oil facilities. We consider it counterproductive to use the happening to escalate tensions around Iran in line with the well-known U.S. line. And even more unacceptable are the options that provide for retaliatory force measures that are allegedly being discussed in Washington," the ministry said in a statement released on Monday.

On Sunday a senior Trump administration offical told ABC News Iran had fired around a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory, to hit the Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais.

The official said that President Donald Trump is aware that Iran is responsible, but added that he was waiting on Saudi Arabia to announce it.

Trump said on Sunday that the U.S. was locked and loaded, but is waiting for verification and for a Saudi assessment of responsibility before deciding on what steps it may take.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran outright for the attacks, saying the country had launched an unprecedented attack on the worlds energy supply.

(File photo. Credit: BBC).

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