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.


Culture Minister Prince Badr salutes ‘the father of arts’ as musical play launches Saudi Theater Initiative

Updated 29 January 2020

Culture Minister Prince Badr salutes ‘the father of arts’ as musical play launches Saudi Theater Initiative

RIYADH: The curtain rose on Tuesday night on a sparkling new musical play — and on an ambitious new era for Saudi theater.

“Daraish Al-Nour” (Windows of Light), written by poet Saleh Zamanan and directed by Fatees Baqna, launched the National Theater Initiative at the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh.

The play, with a cast of local actors including Naif Khalaf, Khaled Saqr and Ibrahim Al-Hassawi, explores Saudi culture past and present, and includes a number of pop-culture and historical references that older audiences in particular will appreciate.

Applause, cheers and whistles rang out through the theater at the end of every act, whether the scene on stage was a cheerful, traditional Saudi dance, or a more intense, dramatic scene full of angst.

The performance was introduced by the Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, who described theater as “ the father of arts.” He added: “We have great expectations regarding the future of the art of theater in Saudi Arabia. We want Saudi Arabia to be a leader in the field.”

Abdul Aziz Ismail, president of the National Theater Initiative, said theater was important in Saudi culture and the new scheme was a great step forward for the art form. “Our culture will be reborn through this historic moment,” he said. “We are going to express our culture through our theater.”