Iran's accusations that Iran is behind the attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities are "flimsy and baseless," the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday, and looked like an intelligence plot to discredit Iran as grounds for further action against it.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said blaming Iran would not end the disaster and that accepting its proposals could end the war in Yemen.
The Iranian official stressed that Washington resorted to the "policy of maximum deception" after the failure of the policy of "maximum sanctions", as he put it.
The pro-Iranian Houthi group announced yesterday that it launched a "major attack" by 10 drones on two oil facilities of Saudi Aramco in eastern Saudi Arabia, which led to the reduction of more than half of the Kingdom's crude production.
|Tehran makes false diplomatic efforts (French)|
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of attacking Aramco labs, ruling out attacks from Yemen, saying Tehran was making "false" diplomatic efforts.
Meanwhile, Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards underground force, said in response to Washington's escalation that US bases and aircraft carriers were within range of Iranian missiles.
"Everyone should know that all US bases and their aircraft carriers up to 2,000 kilometers from Iran are within the range of our missiles," he said.
"Iran has always been ready for all-out war," Hajizadeh was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim news agency as saying, but did not mention any attacks on Aramco.
The Wall Street Journal, citing Gulf officials, said experts were studying the possibility of attackers using Aramco's cruise missiles fired from Iraq or Iran, without ruling out the drones hypothesis.
Baghdad has denied that any such operation was carried out from its territory.
The White House said US President Donald Trump had spoken to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to support Riyadh in defending itself.
In a telephone call, Trump pointed to the negative impact of the attacks on the US and global economy, the Saudi Press Agency said, while the Saudi crown prince stressed the kingdom's ability to counter what he called terrorist aggression.
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have indicated that Saudi Arabia halted nearly half of its oil production after the attacks, and that Aramco expects to resume most oil production within days, but Reuters quoted an informed source as saying it could take weeks.
The Saudi Interior Ministry announced yesterday the targeting of two Aramco plants in Abqaiq province and the migration of Khurais in the east of the country by drones.
The Houthis adopted the attack, which took place early on Saturday, and said that the targeting was direct and accurate, and that it came after a careful intelligence operation and pre-monitoring and cooperation with those they called honorable.