Iran's Foreign Minister, Javad Zarif, attacked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday who directly accused Tehran of drone attacks against Saudi oil facilities claimed by Yemeni rebels, saying "blame Iran it won't end the mess. "
"Having failed the & # 39; maximum pressure & # 39 ;, @ SecPompeo is resorting to the & # 39; maximum deception & # 39;", Zarif tweeted. "The United States and its clients are trapped in Yemen due to the illusion that the superiority of weapons will lead to military victory. Blaming Iran will not end the disaster. Accept our April 15 proposal to end the war and begin the conversations can. "
The attacks on Saturday, claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels, resulted in "the temporary suspension of production operations" at Abqaiq processing facilities and the Khurais oil field, Riyadh said.
That led to the interruption of approximately 5.7 million barrels in the supply of crude oil, authorities said, while promises from the kingdom's reserves would make up the difference.
While markets remain closed on Sunday, the attack could shock world energy prices. General tensions in the region also increased in the midst of a growing crisis between the United States and Iran over the collapse of Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers.
Late Saturday, Pompeo blamed Iran directly for the attack on Twitter, without offering evidence to support his claim. The United States, Western nations, their Persian Gulf allies and United Nations experts claim that Iran supplies weapons and drones to Houthis, a charge Tehran denies.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi rejected Pompeo's comments as "blind and futile comments."
"The Americans adopted the policy of & # 39; maximum pressure & # 39; against Iran, which, due to its failure, leans towards the & # 39; maximum lies & # 39;" Mousavi said in a statement.
The first news of Saturday's assault came in online videos of giant fires at the Abqaiq facility, about 330 kilometers northeast of the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
Machine gun shots were heard in several clips along with the first Muslim call to prayers of the day, suggesting that security forces tried to take down the drones just before dawn. In daylight, Saudi state television aired a segment with its local correspondent near a police checkpoint, with a thick column of smoke visible behind it.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, called the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, to offer his support for the defense of the kingdom, the White House said. The crown prince assured Trump that Saudi Arabia is "willing and able to face and confront this terrorist aggression," according to a press release from the Saudi embassy in Washington.
Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq as "the world's largest crude oil stabilization plant." The facility processes sour crude oil in sweet crude, then transports it to transshipment points in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea or to refineries for local production. Estimates suggest that it can process up to 7 million barrels of crude oil per day. In comparison, Saudi Arabia produced 9.65 million barrels of crude oil per day in July.
It is believed that the Khurais oil field produces more than 1 million barrels of crude oil per day. It has estimated reserves of more than 20 billion barrels of oil, according to Aramco.
There was no immediate impact on world oil prices as the markets closed over the weekend. Brent reference crude had been trading at just over $ 60 per barrel.