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Iran loses last innocence papers from Aramco attack

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Trump orders withdrawal from the strategic oil reserves if necessary

Trump orders withdrawal from the strategic oil reserves if necessary

 16 September 2019 01:52 PM
Mubasher: The US president ordered a withdrawal from the strategic oil reserves if necessary after the attack on Saudi Aramco plants.

Donald Trump said on Twitter that on the basis of the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I allowed the withdrawal of strategic oil reserves if necessary.

"Withdrawal from the reserve comes to keep supply stable," he said.

 

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Oil prices saw a strong rise of 19 percent in early Asian trading after the attack on Saudi Aramco refineries by Dron aircraft.

Trump said in a separate tweet that there were reasons to believe that the United States knew who was behind the attack, stressing his country's readiness to respond.

The president said the United States was waiting to hear from Saudi Arabia who was responsible for the incident.

The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the incident, while US officials accused Iran of being behind the attack, a charge denied by Tehran.

By 10:37 am GMT, Brent crude futures for November delivery rose 8.4 percent to $ 65.27 a barrel.

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Kuwaiti Speaker: We suppor t Saudi measures to maintain security

Kuwaiti Speaker: We support Saudi measures to maintain security
Marzouq Alghanim, Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly
 16 September 2019 11:43 am

Kuwait-Mubasher: The speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly (Knesset) confirmed on Monday support for the measures taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to maintain its security and stability .

Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim said in tweets on his official Twitter account that Saudi Arabia will always be insurmountable to every threat to its security and stability and we are confident in the wisdom and approach of its leadership .

Al-Ghanim explained that the approach of the Saudi leadership has always been united and does not differentiate, and puts the interests of Arabs and Muslims as a priority .

He pointed out that this line of the Saudi leadership will continue as clear, clear and transparent as it was since the founder King Abdulaziz .

He continued: "What we stand on the side of the Kingdom is a duty and merit ."

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The Saudi authorities announced on Saturday that the march of planes targeted two labs oilfields belonging to the company "Aramco" in both (Abqaiq) and (Khurais) migration; what led to the outbreak of fire in which they were controlled .

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Trump: We don't need Middle East oil and gas

Political | 03:05 - 16/09/2019

 
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BAGHDAD News balance
US President Donald Trump announced once again that his country was not in need of oil and gas the Middle East, but stressed that Washington will help its allies.
Trump said in a tweet in particular: "Since in the last few years we have achieved great success in the field of energy (thank you, Mr. President!), And we are a sincere source of energy, and we are now the first producer of energy in the world, we do not need oil and gas in the Middle East, and in fact we have There are very few oil tankers, but we will help our allies. "
The US president made a similar statement on July 24, stressing that his country does not need to import oil because it has become an exporter, and does not also need to guard the Strait of Hormuz for rich countries for free.
Trump said on the occasion: "We get very little oil from the straits ... They said there are no US tankers there, but from China and Japan. China imports 65% of the oil from there, Japan 25% and other countries get a lot too Ended / 29 BC

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PM: Iraq prohibits the use of its territory against any neighboring country

PM: Iraq prohibits the use of its territory against any neighboring country
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi
 16 September 2019 03:05 PM

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi received a telephone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday to discuss the upcoming meetings between officials of the two countries.

Abdul Mahdi, in a statement carried by the Information Office of the Prime Minister, said on Monday that the task of Iraq is to maintain its security and stability, and avoid any step of escalation, and prevent the use of its territory against any neighboring country or sister or friend.

He continued: "Iraq policy seeks to play a positive role to dismantle the crises and conflicts experienced by the region and away the specter of war from Iraq and the region and away from the policy of axes."

For his part, the US Secretary of State, according to the statement that the information they have confirmed the statement of the Iraqi government not to use its territory to carry out this attack on Saudi Aramco sites.

The Iraqi Prime Minister's Office issued a statement on Sunday, denying what some media circulated about the use of its territory to attack Saudi oil installations by drones.

On Saturday, a terrorist attack on Yemen's Houthi militia on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais factories halted production temporarily .

"The drone attack on two Saudi Aramco plants was carried out from Iraq, " a CNN source said on Sunday .

The source told the network that preliminary information confirms that the bombing was carried out by drones did not take off from Yemen, but from Iraq.

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So let's get this straight, Iran attacks Saudi Arabia oil field causing Saudi Arabia to shut down half of its oil production. America vowes to help Saudi Arabia attack Iran for what they did. Meanwhile the entire world economy condemned the attack and Promises to do what they can with their oil Reserves. And no one is talking about how Iraq will be pumping oil like there's no tomorrow. In the midst of the coming war against Iran, Iraq will revalue their currency at $1.17. And no one will ever notice what they did because of all the chaos.:bravo:

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Maybe..but I don't see folks in the USA paying $100 PB for oil, maybe rise in prices overseas. Gas is still $2.09 a gallon here..OPEC hollering that oil industry could see a GLUT in supplies, Trump stating we don't need middle east oil....

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US President Donald Trump said Monday he was skeptical of Iran's denial of responsibility for the attack on Saudi oil facilities.

According to "Sky News Arabia," "Trump doubts Iran denies responsibility for the attack on the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia."

Tehran condemned the US accusations of being behind the attacks announced by the Houthis on Saturday on two oil facilities of Saudi Aramco, calling it "justification for future moves against it," the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the US position is "incomprehensible and meaningless."
 
 
The Ansar Allah group (Houthis), announced the targeting of oil fields Abqaiq and Khurais in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, on Saturday, 10 drones, and vowed to expand the scope of attacks inside the Saudi depth.
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Houthis threaten to bomb Saudi Aramco again

Political | 05:17 - 16/09/2019

 
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BAGHDAD balances News
group threatened the Houthis in Yemen, Monday, targeting oil processing subsidiary of Saudi Aramco plants again.
"The oil processing plants of Aramco are still in Marmana and may be targeted at any moment," Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Sari said in a tweet on Twitter.
He stressed that "drones operating with normal engines and jet carried out attacks on the facilities of Aramco in Abqaiq and Khurais," in the eastern region of the Kingdom.
He added: "Saudi Arabia should stop its aggression and siege on Yemen."

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Qatar condemns attacks on Saudi Aramco

World | 05:01 - 16/09/2019

 
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BAGHDAD balances News
Dan Qatari Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman, on Monday, attacks on the company "Aramco" oil facilities in Saudi Arabia two days ago.
"We condemn attacks on vital and civilian facilities, the most recent of which is Abqaiq," the Qatari minister wrote in a tweet on Twitter, calling for a halt to "wars and conflicts" as well as "joint efforts to achieve collective security in the region."
"We condemn attacks on vital and civilian facilities, most recently Abqaiq. These wars and conflicts must stop and efforts must be made to achieve common collective security in the region," he added.
Attacks by drones caused explosions that set fire to Abqaiq, the world's largest oil processing plant, and nearby Khurais, which includes a huge oilfield in eastern Saudi Arabia, halting half of Saudi oil production.

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Coalition: Attack on Aramco not carried out from Yemen according to preliminary results

Coalition: Attack on Aramco not carried out from Yemen according to preliminary results
Spokesman for the Coalition to support Legitimacy Col. Turki Al-Maliki
 16 September 2019 04:53 PM

RIYADH - The preliminary findings of the investigation into the attack on Aramco indicate it has not been carried out from Yemeni territory as alleged by Houthi militias, a spokesman for the Alliance for the support of Legitimacy in Yemen said.

He said Colonel Turki al-Maliki, during a press conference on Monday, that investigations are continuing on the attack on Aramco and we have the ability to face the attacks.

He said the attack on Aramco was a terrorist act and we have the ability to protect vital areas.

He said the attack was aimed at global energy security, not just Saudi security.

Maliki said the result of the investigation, along with pictures of weapons used to target Aramco, would be presented soon, and evidence suggests that the weapons used to target Aramco were Iranian.

He said that the Houthis continue to target civilian areas using ballistic missiles and drones, pointing out that the latter is Iranian-made Ababil. 

He continued: "Houthi militias are just tools in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards."

On Saturday, a terrorist attack on Yemen's Houthi militia on Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais factories halted production temporarily .

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1 hour ago, yota691 said:

Maybe..but I don't see folks in the USA paying $100 PB for oil, maybe rise in prices overseas. Gas is still $2.09 a gallon here..OPEC hollering that oil industry could see a GLUT in supplies, Trump stating we don't need middle east oil....

It was 2.15 when we went to bed, but with the fear and markets people are saying it will be 3.00 within hours. Now that being said, 3.00 is already being paid in many areas so that means they will be up close to 4 or 5 a gallon. Time will tell. I just pray no major war and a great RV. But I fear our farmers and ranchers are the ones to be hit the hardest with a major increase on diesel. Yes, time will tell how this will affect us all in one way or another.

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Saudi-led coalition:Evidence indicates Iranian arms used in Saudi attack

(Adds quotes, details)

RIYADH, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen's Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into Saturday's strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, was still going on to determine the launch location.

"The preliminary results show that the weapons are Iranian and we are currently working to determine the location ... The terrorist attack did not originate from Yemen as the Houthi militia claimed," Malki told a press conference in Riyadh.

He said authorities would reveal the location from where drones were launched at a future press briefing.

Iran has dismissed as "unacceptable" U.S. accusations that Tehran was responsible for the assault on Saudi oil facilities that cut almost half of the kingdom's production, or 5% of global oil supply.

Malki said the Gulf Arab state, the world's top oil exporter, was capable of protecting vital energy and economic sites. "This cowardly act largely targets the global economy and not Saudi Arabia."

The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014 by the Houthis.

The movement has stepped up drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities this year. The conflict is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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45 minutes ago, Mammaw said:

It was 2.15 when we went to bed, but with the fear and markets people are saying it will be 3.00 within hours. Now that being said, 3.00 is already being paid in many areas so that means they will be up close to 4 or 5 a gallon. Time will tell. I just pray no major war and a great RV. But I fear our farmers and ranchers are the ones to be hit the hardest with a major increase on diesel. Yes, time will tell how this will affect us all in one way or another.

My price is $3.69 a gallon here in the Tri-Valley area of California.  I am having stressful thoughts that it will hit close to 5.00.  And it will hurt the farmers/ranchers here horrifically which in turn will raise food costs.  @Mammaw from your moth to God’s ears ❤️.  I am also praying for peace, love and a great RV.  God’s morning to y’all.  

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On 8/15/2019 at 4:39 PM, DoD said:

WOW, Iran got it going on in Iraq...OK Mr. Trump, time to put on the spank to these idiots. 

Especially if secret souurces confirm that these Irannian sympathetic forces in Iraq , or from Iran are responsible for the bombing of the Saudi Oil Production Facility over this past week .  That and if there is truth to my POTUS Trump statement that the US in locked and loaded Hmmmm.

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SM California pumps and uses all of its own oil, they do not import any oil from outside of California. If they raise the price then it’s only for price gauging just because. The only time you see price hikes in California is when you see a fire there causing the issue at one of the plants.

Edited by Dinarrock
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2 hours ago, yota691 said:

Houthis threaten to bomb Saudi Aramco again

Political | 05:17 - 16/09/2019

 
image
 
 

 
"The oil processing plants of Aramco are still in Marmana and may be targeted at any moment," Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Sari said in a tweet on Twitter.
He stressed that "drones operating with normal engines and jet carried out attacks on the facilities of Aramco in Abqaiq and Khurais," in the eastern region of the Kingdom.
He added: "Saudi Arabia should stop its aggression and siege on Yemen."

The Saudis should simply invade, conquer, and take over Yemen for that matter. IMHO. Higher that black army group of mercenaries the US used to supplement force multipliers when the mission in Iraq was different. Oh by the way has Iraq yet promised to make up for the losses in Saudi oil production yet ? Or are they waiting for oils spot price to rise above $60 ppb.

Edited by new york kevin
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3 hours ago, ladyGrace'sDaddy said:

So let's get this straight, Iran attacks Saudi Arabia oil field causing Saudi Arabia to shut down half of its oil production. America vowes to help Saudi Arabia attack Iran for what they did. Meanwhile the entire world economy condemned the attack and Promises to do what they can with their oil Reserves. And no one is talking about how Iraq will be pumping oil like there's no tomorrow. In the midst of the coming war against Iran, Iraq will revalue their currency at $1.17. And no one will ever notice what they did because of all the chaos.:bravo:

What a coincidence, I was thinking the same thing my friend,

Iran under economic sanctions .... can’t export oil

Venezuela under economic sanctions .... can’t export oil

Saudi Arabia shot down half of oil production 5.3 mbpd after the attack.

Who will cover the oil production deficits?..... Iraq 🇮🇶 

 

Go iraq

Go oil production 

Go oil exports 

Go RV

Go $1:1+

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1 hour ago, Dinarrock said:

SM California pumps and uses all of its own oil, they do not import any oil from outside of California. If they raise the price then it’s only for price gauging just because. The only time you see price hikes in California is when you see a fire there causing the issue at one of the plants.

So true.  The gas manufacturers are in Martinez California and the gas is the most expensive right near there.  I’m tying to bail...

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Two Major Saudi Oil Installations Hit by Drone Strike, and U.S. Blames Iran

Video:

https://nyti.ms/2ZSGxbH

Drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck two key oil installations inside Saudi Arabia on Saturday, damaging facilities that process the vast majority of the country’s crude output and raising the risk of a disruption in world oil supplies.

The attacks immediately escalated tensions in the Persian Gulf amid a standoff between the United States and Iran, even as key questions remained unanswered — where the drones were launched from, and how the Houthis managed to hit facilities deep in Saudi territory, some 500 miles from Yemeni soil.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being behind what he called “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” and asserted that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” He did not, however, specify an alternative launch site, and the Saudis themselves refrained from pointing the finger directly at Iran.

President Trump condemned the attack in a phone call with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and offered support for “Saudi Arabia’s self defense,” the White House said in a statement, adding that the United States “remains committed to ensuring global oil markets are stable and well supplied.”

The Houthis said they had launched the aerial attacks with 10 drones, which would amount to their most audacious strike on Saudi Arabia since the kingdom intervened in Yemen’s war more than four years ago. The Saudi-led bombing campaign has devastated the impoverished country and exacerbated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The Houthis are part of a regional network of militant groups aligned with and backed by Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival. American and Saudi officials suspect that Iran has dispatched technicians to Yemen to train the Houthis on drone and missile technology.

United Nations investigators have written that the Houthis have acquired advanced drones that could have a range of up to 930 miles. That leaves open the possibility that the drones used Saturday had flown from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen. But they may also have been launched from another country, such as Iraq, or from inside Saudi Arabia itself.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps has been training its militia proxies in the region, from Lebanon to Yemen, in more sophisticated warfare using drones, according to two people in Iran with knowledge of the programs.

In Yemen, for example, after Houthi missiles targeting Saudi Arabia were intercepted, Iran moved to train Houthis in drone technology, taking groups to Iran to master assembling, managing and repairing drones, said the people familiar with the programs.

The Houthis have attacked Saudi infrastructure before, primarily with less accurate ballistic missiles.

The targeted oil facilities can process 8.45 million barrels of crude oil a day between them, the bulk of production in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant, said production of 5.7 million barrels a day — well over half of the nation’s overall daily output — was suspended.

It was not immediately clear how badly the facilities were damaged, but shutting them down for more than a few days would affect the global oil supply. Analysts who closely follow the Saudi oil industry said they were hearing that the impact would not be severe — perhaps only a few days’ outage, which the Saudis could cover.

“Crude prices will still rise a bit, but apparently the world economy dodged a bullet,” said Robert McNally, the president of Rapidan Energy Group, a Washington-based market research firm.

The Energy Department said that, if needed, the United States was ready to use its strategic oil reserves to offset any disruption in supply.

The attacks not only exposed a Saudi vulnerability in the war against the Houthis, but also demonstrated how relatively cheap it has become to stage such high-profile strikes. The drones used may have cost $15,000 or less to build, said Wim Zwijnenburg, a senior researcher on drones at PAX, a Dutch peace organization.

The strikes illustrate how David-and-Goliath tactics using cheap drones are adding a new layer of volatility to the Middle East. Such attacks not only damage vital economic infrastructure, but can also increase security costs, disrupt markets and spread fear.

While the Houthis do not have significant financial resources, drones give them a way to hurt Saudi Arabia, which was the world’s third-highest spender on military equipment in 2018, investing an estimated $67.6 billion.

“This has given the Saudis a challenge they can’t confront, no matter what their financial, military or intelligence capabilities are,” said Farea Al-Muslimi, co-founder of the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies, which focuses on Yemen.

The attacks hit deeper into Saudi territory than most previous Houthi strikes and set off blazes whose smoke could be seen from space.

The war in Yemen began in 2014, when the Houthi rebels seized control of the capital and most of Yemen’s northwest, sending the government into exile. A coalition of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with some support from the United States, began bombing Yemen in 2015, hoping to push the Houthis back and restore the government.

Instead, the war has settled into a stalemate, and the Houthis have developed increasingly sophisticated ways of striking back at Saudi Arabia, most notably with drones. The first indications of the Houthis using drones emerged last year, and their capabilities have improved since.

The strike on one of the oil installations, in Abqaiq, was particularly worrying because it processes crude from several key Saudi oil fields, said Helima Croft, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank.

“This is the mother lode for an attack on Saudi infrastructure,” she said. “We have always been concerned about an attack on Abqaiq.”

Amy Myers Jaffe, a Middle East energy analyst at the Council on Foreign Relations, said the attacker was “knowledgeable, picking the maximum place for impact and damage.”

Rapidan Energy Group called Abqaiq by far the most important oil facility in the world.

“A successful attack on Abqaiq is about the worst thing energy security planners think about,” because the specialized equipment there would be difficult to quickly replace, said Mr. McNally, Rapidan’s president and a former White House energy adviser under President George W. Bush.

The firm estimated the Saudis have 188 million barrels of oil on hand, or enough to cover a disruption of five million barrels per day for 37 days. Mr. McNally predicted that oil traders would quickly “start doing the math,” potentially sending prices upward.

Mr. Pompeo has led the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, trying to isolate Tehran’s cleric-run government with a rolling series of sanctions that have lashed its economy.

At the same time, Mr. Trump has said he is open to meeting with Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani — potentially on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly this month — as a first step toward striking a new nuclear accord that would also stop its ballistic missiles program and support for extremist groups.

Mr. Rouhani repeated this week that he will not negotiate until the United States eases its sanctions.

Mr. McNally said these attacks are “likely to put on ice” talk of easing sanctions on Iran, with the consequences depending on how closely Tehran can be linked to them.

“Forget about easing sanctions,” he said. “We are talking about a step up on geopolitical risks.”

While there were no reports of casualties, the attacks struck at the core of the Saudi economy. They came just as Aramco accelerated plans for what could be the largest initial public offering of stock in the world, an event closely watched by global investors.

The Saudi Interior Ministry reported fires at the two processing centers — in Abqaiq and also in Khurais — before dawn on Saturday, and later said they had been attacked with drones. The ministry said both fires had been “controlled and contained,” the Saudi-owned news network Al Arabiya reported without any further details.

A Houthi spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sare’e, said that the group’s forces “carried out a massive offensive operation of 10 drones targeting Abqaiq and Khurais refineries.” He did not specifically say that they launched the drones from Yemen.

The conflict in Yemen has killed thousands of civilians, many of them in Saudi airstrikes using American-made weapons. It has also created an enormous humanitarian crisis with millions at risk of starvation and millions of others homeless.

In a report presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva last week, a panel of experts said both sides in the conflict were committing horrific human rights abuses, including arbitrary killings, rape and torture, with impunity. The atrocities underscored the collective failure of the international community, the panel said.

After a period of relative calm, following a cease-fire brokered late last year, tensions have escalated in recent months. Houthi forces attacked Saudi pipelines and other oil infrastructure in May, temporarily halting the flow of crude oil, and in June they struck an airport in Saudi Arabia, wounding dozens of people.

In July, in a major blow to the Saudi-led coalition, the United Arab Emirates, which had been providing arms, money and, crucially, ground troops in Yemen, announced a rapid pullout from a conflict that had become too costly. The move left diplomats and analysts wondering whether Saudi Arabia would continue the war on its own.

Although the Trump administration has been a vocal supporter of Saudi efforts to deter Iran and its allies in the region, congressional opposition to the sale of arms and the deployment of extra troops in Saudi Arabia has limited the scope of support from the United States.

Reporting was contributed by Hwaida Saad from Beirut, Lebanon, Lara Jakes from Washington, Clifford Krauss from Houston, and Farnaz Fassihi from New York.

 

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Iran expresses concern over Saudi secret nuclear program

By AhadNA4 17/09/2019 12:59 AM | Number Of Hits: 677

 
Iran expresses concern over Saudi secret nuclear program

Al-Ahd News- Continue

The Iranian ambassador to the international organizations in Vienna, Kazem Gharibabadi, expressed concern about the secret Saudi nuclear program and its negative effects on the region.

In response to Saudi Arabia's empty allegations at the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Gharib Abadi expressed his regret at the conference for using Saudi war and tension to cover up its internal problems and failures, expressing concern about its secret nuclear program.

Another part of Iran's reply said it was regrettable that Saudi Arabia was using war and tension to hide its internal problems or failures. The Saudi regime and its allies have repeatedly demonstrated in recent years that they do not hesitate to attack neighboring countries, including Yemen, commit war crimes, attack schools, hospitals, markets, and massacres of women and children in order to achieve their interests and their illegal targets.

He stressed that Saudi Arabia is striving to implement a nuclear program secretly, saying that Saudi officials have indicated on several occasions that they are working on a project and the establishment of a channel through which the neighboring state of Qatar from peninsula to island, adding that part of this channel will be used to build a facility to deal with nuclear waste. This political goal of Saudi Arabia reveals that its irresponsible practices not only target its people and its surroundings, but also the stability and security of the region and its neighbors.

Noting that Saudi Arabia's irresponsible behavior and its covert program was supported by the Trump administration, he said it was essential for the international community to make clear to Saudi Arabia that it did not tolerate any deviation from the peaceful nuclear program or the transfer of radioactive material to terrorist groups.

In conclusion, Gharib Abadi called on Saudi Arabia to fully accept the nuclear safeguards system and allow IAEA inspectors access to all its nuclear activities, stressing that the IAEA should immediately ask partners who are likely to provide Saudi Arabia with photovoltaic power reactors to refrain from doing so as long as appropriate conditions are not provided for the implementation of measures. Warranty by agency. is over/6

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Iraqi PM tightens government grip on country’s armed factions

1756871-211346450.jpg?itok=lFOfiJzt

 

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi. (Reuters/File)

Updated 9 sec ago

SUADAD AL-SALHY

September 16, 201923:58

117

 

The increasingly strained relations between the US and Iran in the region is casting a large shadow over Iraq

 

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi is putting increased pressure on the nation’s armed factions, including Shiite-dominated paramilitary troops and Kurdish guerrillas, in an attempt to tighten his control over them, Iraqi military commanders and analysts said on Monday.

Military commanders have been stripped of some of their most important powers as part of the efforts to prevent them from being drawn into local or regional conflicts.

The increasingly strained relations between the US and Iran in the region is casting a large shadow over Iraq. 

Each side has dozens of allied armed groups in the country, which has been one of the biggest battlegrounds for the two countries since 2003. 

Attempting to control these armed factions and military leaders is one of the biggest challenges facing the Iraqi government as it works to keep the country out of the conflict.

On Sunday, Abdul Mahdi dissolved the leadership of the joint military operations. 

They will be replaced by a new one, under his chairmanship, that includes representatives of the ministries of defense and interior, the military and security services, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) and the Ministry of Peshmerga, which controls the military forces of the autonomous Kurdistan region.

According to the prime minister’s decree, the main tasks of the new command structure are to “lead and manage joint operations at the strategic and operational level,” “repel all internal and external threats and dangers as directed by the commander-in-chief of the armed forces,” “manage and coordinate the intelligence work of all intelligence and security agencies,” and “coordinate with international bodies that support Iraq in the areas of training and logistical and air support.”

“This decree will significantly and effectively contribute to controlling the activities of all combat troops, not just the PMU,” said a senior military commander, who declined to be named. 

“This will block any troops associated with any local political party, regional or international” in an attempt to ensure troops serve only the government’s goals and the good of the country. 

“This is explicit and unequivocal,” he added.

Since 2003, the political process in Iraq has been based on political power-sharing system. This means that each parliamentary bloc gets a share of top government positions, including the military, proportionate to its number of seats in Parliament. Iran, the US and a number of regional countries secure their interests and ensure influence by supporting Iraqi political factions financially and morally.

This influence has been reflected in the loyalties and performance of the majority of Iraqi officials appointed by local, regional and international parties, including the commanders of combat troops.

To ensure more government control, the decree also stripped the ministers of defense and interior, and leaders of the counterterrorism, intelligence and national security authorities, and the PMU, from appointing, promoting or transferring commanders. This power is now held exclusively by Abdul Mahdi.

“The decree is theoretically positive as it will prevent local, regional and international parties from controlling the commanders,” said another military commander. 

“This means that Abdul Mahdi will be responsible to everyone inside and outside Iraq for the movement of these forces and their activities.

“The question now is whether Abdul Mahdi will actually be able to implement these instructions or will it be, like others, just ink on paper?”

The PMU is a government umbrella organization established by former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki in June 2014 to encompass the armed factions and volunteers who fought Daesh alongside the Iraqi government. Iranian-backed factions such as Badr Organization, Asaib Ahl Al-Haq and Kataib Hezbollah represent the backbone of the forces.

The US, one of Iraq’s most important allies in the region and the world, believes Iran is using its influence within the PMU to destabilize and threaten Iraq and the region. Abdul Mahdi is under huge external and internal pressure to abolish the PMU and demobilize its fighters, who do not report or answer to the Iraqi government.

The prime minister aims to ease tensions between the playmakers in Iraq, especially the US and Iran, by preventing their allies from clashing on the ground or striking against each other’s interests.

“Abdul Mahdi seeks to satisfy Washington and reassure them that the (armed) factions of the PMU will not move against the will of the Iraqi government,” said Abdullwahid Tuama, an Iraqi analyst.

The prime minister is attempting a tricky balancing act by aiming to protect the PMU, satisfy the Iranians and prove to the Americans that no one is outside the authority of the state, he added.

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1555431

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 Arabic and International


Economy News _ Baghdad

The head of Rosneft, Yevgeny Tolochik, predicted that if the price of a barrel of oil rose to $ 100, due to events in Saudi Arabia, it will be for a short time and then there will be a recession and collapse of the price up to $ 50 a barrel.
"We can talk for a long time. But the price is still $ 67 a barrel," Tolucik said at the Tyumen oil and gas forum on Tuesday, when asked about his assessment of the possible rise in the price of oil in the wake of the attacks in Saudi Arabia. "If the price reaches $ 100 a barrel, it will be for a short period, and then a recession will collapse and collapse again to about $ 50 a barrel."
The group "Ansar Allah", on Saturday, a drone attack on two oil facilities belonging to the Saudi oil giant "Aramco" in Abqaiq and Khurais migration in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.
However, the spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, Turki al-Maliki, said that preliminary investigations into the attack on oil facilities in the Kingdom indicate that the weapons used are Iranian, adding that "the source of the launch of the drones was not Yemen. The source of the launch, "pointing out that the drones used by the group" Ansar Allah "Yemen, Iranian-made" Ababil ".
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said preliminary investigations indicated that Iranian weapons had been used in the attacks on Aramco's oil facilities.
Saudi Arabia is leading a military alliance of Arab and Islamic countries that supports the Yemeni army of the legitimate government and has been for more than four years operations against Ansar Allah group and allied forces to regain areas controlled by the capital, Sanaa.


Number of Views 22   Date Added 17/09/2019

 
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Economy News _ Baghdad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is still taking a wait-and-see approach over whether to use its strategic oil reserves to stabilize oil markets after weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Tuesday.

`` For energy markets, the president directed me to withdraw oil from the strategic oil reserve if needed to offset any potential disruptions, '' Perry told reporters during a visit to Vienna.


Views: 19   Date Added: 17/09/2019

 
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17 Sep, 2019 2:17 PM   -   Hits: 109 views
 
Rouhani comments on Aramco attacks and sends a message to Saudi Arabia

Iraqi position network 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has commented on the targeting of Aramco's oil facilities in Saudi Arabia by a number of drones.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday, Rouhani said in response to a question about the bombing of Saudi oil facilities: Oil. I would like to draw attention to security issues, ”Al-Manar said.
“Yemen is being bombed daily and innocent people are being killed in this country. Therefore, the Yemeni people were forced to retaliate, ”he said, noting that there was an influx of weapons into Saudi Arabia, which were being used against the Yemeni people.
"What the Yemeni people are doing is self-defense," he said, adding that the main way to resolve the Yemeni issue is a political and diplomatic solution.
"The countries of the region can try to restore peace and stability to Yemen, and when security returns to Yemen, oil production in the region will be safe."
Ansar Allah (Houthis) claimed responsibility on Saturday for a drone attack on two oil facilities belonging to Saudi oil giant Aramco in Abqaiq and Hijrat Khurais in Saudi Arabia's eastern region.
However, spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, Turki al-Maliki, said that preliminary investigations into the attack on oil facilities in the Kingdom indicate that the weapons used are Iranian, adding that "the source of the drones was not Yemen, and is being verified. The source of the launch, "pointing out that the drones used by the group" Ansar Allah ", the Iranian-made" Ababel ".
The Saudi Foreign Ministry said preliminary investigations indicated that Iranian weapons had been used in the attacks on Aramco's oil facilities.
The ministry said in a statement that "work is underway to verify the source of those attacks," according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The State Department described the attack as an "unprecedented sabotage attack" and resulted in the suspension of about 50% of Aramco's production. "The aim of this attack is directed primarily at the global energy supply, an extension of the previous hostile acts against the pumping stations of Saudi Aramco using Iranian weapons."
The statement stressed that "the Kingdom will invite international experts and the United Nations to find out the facts and participate in the investigations, and will take all appropriate measures in the light of the results of those investigations, so as to ensure its security and stability."
The Kingdom expressed its appreciation to all regional and international parties that have expressed their condemnation and condemnation of this attack, and calls on the international community to assume its responsibilities in condemning those behind it, and to clearly confront these barbaric acts that affect the backbone of the global economy.
Saudi Arabia is leading a military alliance of Arab and Islamic countries that supports the Yemeni army of the legitimate government and has been for more than four years operations against Ansar Allah group and allied forces to regain areas controlled by the capital, Sanaa.



 

 

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