Attempts to accuse Iran of attacking oil facilities in Saudi Arabia could lead to a protracted conflict in Yemen, said Sergei Serebrov, senior researcher at the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The largest exporter and one of the three largest oil producers, Saudi Arabia, after the attack on its oil facilities on September 14, reduced production by more than half – by 5.7 million barrels per day from the usual mark of about 9.8 million. The Saudi Minister of Energy announced on September 17 that, thanks to the use of reserves, oil supplies had already returned to their previous level, and that lost production has so far been restored by half.
Yemeni Houthi rebels, against whom the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia is fighting, said that the attack was carried out by fighters of their movement with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles. US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said there was no evidence of an attack from Yemen and blamed it on Iran. Iran’s foreign Ministry called Pompeo’s accusations a lie.
“The Houthis took responsibility. In Sana’a, a press conference was held with the details of the operation, the Houthis told what means they used and stressed that these funds were produced in Yemen,” he said, speaking at a press conference in “Rossiya Segodnya”.
“Attempts by the United States and Western countries to divert the attention of the world community to the fact that these attacks were carried out by Iran are aimed at continuing this stalled war, which led to a humanitarian catastrophe”, – he added.
The military-political conflict in Yemen between the government and Houthi rebels from the Shiite “Ansar Allah” movement has been ongoing since 2014. The military coalition of Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia has been on the side of the government since March 2015.
In December 2018, the parties to the conflict in Yemen met for the first time in several years at a negotiation table organized under the auspices of the UN in Stockholm. They managed to reach a number of important agreements, in particular, on the exchange of prisoners, a ceasefire in the port city of the Red Sea, Hodeida and its transfer by the Houthis to UN control.