TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the United States for playing a blame game over the recent Yemeni drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities, saying Washington is embarrassed that the weapons it sold to Riyadh failed to “intercept Yemeni fire”.
The US “is in denial if it thinks that Yemeni victims of 4.5 yrs of the worst war crimes wouldn’t do all to strike back. Perhaps it’s embarrassed that $100s of blns of its arms didn’t intercept Yemeni fire,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
He added, “But blaming Iran won’t change that.”
Zarif reiterated Iran’s stance that ending the deadly war on Yemen is the “only solution for all.”
Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and their allies in the Yemeni army deployed as many as 10 drones to bomb Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities run by the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco before dawn Saturday.
The unprecedented attack knocked out more than half of Saudi crude output, or five percent of global supply, prompting Saudi and US officials to claim without any evidence that it probably originated from Iraq or Iran.
Earlier in the day, US Vice President Mike Pence reiterated the tone set by President Donald Trump and said that “it’s certainly looking like Iran was behind these attacks.”
“As the president said, we don’t want war with anybody but the United States is prepared,” Pence said.
Tehran has categorically dismissed Washington’s claim of Iranian involvement in the Yemeni raids.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said on Monday that the Yemeni army’s drone attacks were merely for legitimate self-defense, and no one can expect the Yemenis to remain silent when their country is destroyed.
The people of Yemen “have to respond” to the foreign aggression and the influx of US and European weapons into Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the Iranian president told a briefing held in Ankara on Monday after his trilateral summit with his Russian and Turkish counterparts.
In another tweet, Zarif denounced Washington for remaining silent on the Saudi-led coalition’s massacre of Yemeni children with US-made weapons.
“Just imagine: The US isn’t upset when its allies mercilessly BOMB babies in Yemen for over 4 years—with its arms and its military assistance,” the Iranian foreign minister said. “But it is terribly upset when the victims react the only way they can—against the aggressor’s OIL refineries,” he added.
“We confirm that these operations were carried out from Yemeni territories and by the Yemeni Army and Popular Committees,” said Brigadier General Abdullah al-Jefri, head of the Yemeni air forces.Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.