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.


Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not Rami, the Saudi who has seven as pets

Updated 23 January 2020

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Not Rami, the Saudi who has seven as pets

  • At home with the Saudi man who has four young children … and a pack of ferocious carnivores as the family pets

AL-JOUF: Guests visiting Rami Al-Sarhan’s home in Al-Jouf are understandably concerned when he asks if they would like to stroke the family pets.

These “pets” are not Tiddles the cat and Fido the dog — they are seven fully grown adult wolves.

The normally ferocious creatures make ideal domestic companions, Rami, 30, assured Arab News. And he has no fears for the safety of his young children, aged 8, 6, 4 and 3.

“The wolves literally live with us in the same home,” he said. “They eat with us and follow us when we go to the farm, and even sit with us in the same room when we have guests over.

“They have grown accustomed to our life and do not attack anyone who sits with us, even if they are a stranger.”

His friendship with wolves started about 11 years ago when an uncle started taking them into his home. Rami began studying them and their behavior, which he can now predict with considerable accuracy. The wolves are friendly and pose no danger to humans if handled properly with the correct precautions, he said.

Although they are wild animals, wolves can adapt to a domestic environment and one of the best ways to gain their trust was to share food and eat with them, Rami said.

FASTFACT

Food should be given to wolves without getting too close or interacting directly with them.

However, he is careful not to feed them raw meat, and he keeps his distance from the wolves during the winter mating season, which can last for two weeks.

Food should be given to wolves without getting too close or interacting directly with them, Rami said. “They are naturally ferocious but can be hostile and defensive if someone gets close to them. A wolf eats its prey but gets defensive if it gets attacked.”

Rami is also dismissive of the many superstitions that surround the animals, such as the one about wolves eating jinn. “What is funny is that many people come to me and ask me to give them strands of wolf hair so they can put it on the body of a ‘jinn-haunted’ person for healing” he said. “These are superstitions and do not make any sense.”

However tame a wolf might appear, Rami said, people should always remain cautious around them, study their every move, and avoid doing anything to scare them.

“Most importantly, show your respect to wolves and let them know that you recognize and respect them in order to be friends with you.”

Despite his assurances, if Rami ever invites you to his home “for dinner,” it might be as well to seek confirmation: “Am I eating … or am I the first course?”