Washington is deliberately stoking tensions in the Middle East in the wake of the drone attack on oil refineries in Saudi Arabia in order to justify its Iran policy, Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s (lower house of parliament) Committee for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky stated on Monday.
"The reports that the US is considering the use of force in response to the attack on an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia, along with direct accusations aimed at Iran from [US] Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo, are concerning, of course. Washington is steadily aggravating tensions in the region in order to justify its aggressive policy against Tehran in the eyes of the international community, namely steps aimed to abandon the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Iranian nuclear deal) and to renew sanctions," the MP said.
According to Slutsky, "the departure of one of the most active ‘hawks’ in the US administration", former US National Security Advisor John Bolton has not changed Washington’s policy on Iran, TASS reports.
"However, in this situation, all parties need to exercise restraint. We need to keep calm and wait for the results of the investigation into the attack on the oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. I do not rule out that in case of further escalation, we will need to hold a separate discussion at the level of the UN Security Council," Slutsky said.
The facilities of the Saudi Aramco oil company, located in east of the kingdom, were attacked by ten drones in the small hours of Saturday. Yemeni Houthi rebels from the Ansar Allah movement claimed responsibility for the incident. In particular, the world’s biggest oil refinery near the city of Abqaiq and a refinery near Khurais, where Riyadh’s second largest oil field is located, came under attack.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being involved in the attacks, claiming "there is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." The Iranian Foreign Ministry dismissed Pompeo’s accusations as unfounded.