A recent attack by Iranian-backed forces in Yemen on a Saudi oil facility should be viewed as a “warning” to Saudi Arabia to halt its campaign against pro-Tehran Houthi rebels in Yemen, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday.
President Rouhani denied that Iran was behind the attack, adding that Iran was not interested in a regional conflict.
“We don’t want conflict in the region,” said Rouhani. “Who started the conflict?”
The Iranian leader blamed the US, Israel, United Arab Emirates, and the Saudi government for rising tensions in the Middle East.
Despite Rouhani’s denial, the Saudi ambassador to the UK said Wednesday that Iran was ‘almost certainly’ behind the weekend attacks on Aramco oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.
“Almost certainly it’s Iranian-backed,” Prince Khalid bin Bander bin Sultan Al Saud told the BBC. “We’re trying not to react too quickly because the last thing we need is more conflict in the region.”
“We’re investigating the issue. We’re working with our partners in the United States, the UN, the UK, and anyone else who wants to get involved, to help us resolve what happened, figure out what happened, where they came from, the attack.”
Saudi Arabia promised Wednesday to release evidence linking Iran to the attack.
The US has also accused Iran for the attack, and now believes that the assault was launched from southwestern Iran.
Houthi rebels in Yemen had previously claimed responsibility for the attack. Iran is widely believed to be backing the Houthi forces, though Tehran has denied this. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition in support of the Yemeni government against the Houthis.