German politicians blame Iran for drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities after site visit

In statements posted on Twitter, Nikolas Lobel and Olav Gutting blamed Iran for the attacks. (Photo: Via @NikolasLoebel)
Updated 10 October 2019

German politicians blame Iran for drone strikes on Saudi oil facilities after site visit

  • On Sept. 14 drone attacks started fires at two Saudi Aramco facilities, one in in Abqaiq and the other in Khurais
  • France, Britain and Germany have previously said it was clear that Iran was responsible for the attack on Saudi facilities

RIYADH: Two leading German parliamentarians on Tuesday blamed Iran for attacks on Saudi oil facilities and called for international action to “repress” the security and economic threat Tehran posed to the world.

The remarks followed an inspection visit by German Bundestag members Nikolas Lobel and Olav Gutting to the Abqaiq processing plant, one of two Aramco sites in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province hit in last month’s drone and missile strikes.

Gutting said that an on-site tour was necessary to help understand what had happened. “As a lawyer, I know the importance of evidence in a trial. It is both causal and plausible that the drone attack was carried out by Iran.”

And Lobel, who is responsible for the region’s foreign affairs committee, said: “We strongly condemn the raids on the oilfields and on the refinery. This severely violated the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

“The responsibility for this attack is plausibly imputable to Iran directly or indirectly. Iran’s influence on the entire region has grown steadily in recent years.

BACKGROUND

The Sept. 14 attacks sparked fires at Abqaiq and the Khurais oilfield, knocking out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil production and causing major damage to the world’s biggest crude processing plant.

“Sadly, Iran is successfully trying to support terrorist militias and destabilize other states. With its expansive ideological aspirations, Iran poses a threat to the Western world.

“Therefore, its influence must be repressed. That must be a common task of the international community,” Lobel added.

In a joint statement the two politicians said: “Saudi Arabia is a reliable and trustworthy partner for Germany. We are very interested in the positive development and economic diversification of the country as well as in a sustainable, successful implementation of Vision 2030.

“Germany wants to do its part. Saudi Arabia makes a significant contribution to military security and, not least, to the security of supply of the global economy. The attack on the oilfields of Aramco was therefore also an attack on the energy resources of the international community.

“With our visit, as members of the German Bundestag, we want to express our solidarity and our interest in strengthening Saudi Arabia in the region.”




German Bundestag members visit the Abqaiq processing plant. (Photo/Supplied)

The Sept. 14 attacks sparked fires at Abqaiq and the Khurais oilfield, knocking out more than half of Saudi Arabia’s daily oil production and causing major damage to the world’s biggest crude processing plant.

France, the UK and Germany have all since accused Iran of being behind the strikes.

Soon after the attacks, the Kingdom’s military displayed missile and drone debris to prove the raids were “unquestionably” sponsored by Tehran.

Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said at the time that the strike came from the north, not from Yemen, which is where the Houthi rebels who claimed responsibility for the attack are located. Both Iran and Iraq are to the north of Saudi Arabia.

“This attack did not originate from Yemen, despite Iran’s best efforts to make it appear so,” the colonel said. He accused Iran of working with its Houthi allies to generate a “false narrative” around the strike on the two oil facilities.


Pregnant women in Saudi Arabia warned to take special care during pandemic

Updated 8 min 59 sec ago

Pregnant women in Saudi Arabia warned to take special care during pandemic

  • The ministry’s recommendations come as many have expressed concerns about the impact of the infection on their health

JEDDAH: Pregnant women have been told to take special care in following precautionary measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saudi Ministry of Health has cautioned, as they are thought to be particularly at risk from complications.

The ministry’s recommendations come as many have expressed concerns about the impact of the infection on their health. The ministry has reiterated the importance of practicing hand hygiene, maintaining social distancing to limit the spread of the virus and wearing a mask in public at all times, especially in areas where it's hard to observe social distancing.

The ministry announced a total of 3,036 new cases of in the Kingdom on Wednesday, bringing to 220,144 the number of people in Saudi Arabia have now contracted the disease.

There were 60,035 active cases, 2,263 of them critical.

37 percent of the newly announced cases are female, 63 percent are male. Of those infected, 86 percent were adults of working age, 5 percent were over 65 and 9 percent were children.

3,211 new recovered cases have been announced, taking the total number of recoveries to 158,050, while 42 new deaths were reported, raising the death toll to 2,059.

The ministry urges everyone to use the self-assessment service in the “Mawid” application or to visit Tataman clinics that have been set up by the ministry for those who feel they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms; there are 237 such clinics.

It also recommends calling 937, its central operator, for consultations and inquiries around the clock.