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Putin says no proof Iran was behind attack on Saudi Aramco

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with World Energy Council Chairman Jean-Marie Dauger, as Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz Bin Salman looks on, on the sidelines of the Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia, on October 2, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says there is no evidence Iran was responsible for a recent attack on Saudi oil facilities, adding that the United States had not presented any proof of Iran’s role.

“We condemn these (attacks) but we are against shifting the blame to Iran, because there is no proof of that,” Putin said at an energy conference in Moscow on Wednesday, adding that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had personally told him Tehran had nothing to do with the attacks.

On September 14, 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.

Although Houthis took credit for the attack, Saudi Arabia and the US suggested Iran had a role in, or was responsible for, the attack without providing any evidence.

The unprecedented attack initially halved Saudi Arabia’s oil production, or five percent of the global supply.  

Apart from the US, France, Germany and the UK also joined Saudi Arabia in pinning the blame for the attack on Iran.

Iran has rejected the allegations of any involvement and said the attack was a legitimate act of self-defense by Yemen, which has been under incessant strikes by the Saudi-led coalition since 2015.

Rouhani said Friday the Europeans, who had blamed Iran for the attack on Saudi oil facilities, told him they did not know who was really behind the raid.

Speaking upon arrival in Tehran after a visit to New York, Rouhani said during the trip he questioned some European leaders about their recent anti-Iran statement, adding, “I asked them on what basis and evidence they were making such an allegation against Iran. I frankly and firmly told them to send me the evidence as I needed it.”

The Iranian president said he had warned the Europeans against the consequences of raising such baseless allegations.

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