US Senator blames Biden for Saudi energy attacks

US Senator blames Biden's 'relaxed policy' on Iran for attacks on Saudi energy facilities
3 min read
08 March, 2021
Renewed attacks on Saudi's energy facilities is bringing the kingdom into global focus.
Aramco facilities are the target of attacks [Getty]
A US Republican senator criticised President Joe Biden for his "relaxed" policy on Iran, which he says has prompted Tehran to attack oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia, including a drone attack on one of the world's largest oil shipping ports.

Saudi Arabia revealed a drone attack on Ras Tanura Port and an attempted missile strike on an Aramco on Sunday.

Shrapnel from a ballistic missile also fell near Saudi Aramco's residential area in Dhahran.

A ministry spokesman said in a statement on state news agency SPA that neither attack resulted in any injury or loss of life or damage to property.

This latest provocation has prompted global criticism by Saudi allies.

Bill Hagerty, a Republican senator who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has blamed US President Joe Biden's apparent lax policy towards Iran for the attack.

"Yet another missile strike against Saudi Arabia today with all the hallmarks of an Iranian-backed attack," he said.

"It seems (President) Biden's desire to give Tehran sanctions relief is emboldening the mullahs to escalate their aggression against us and our allies."

"These terrorist attacks do not only target the security and economic capabilities of the Kingdom, but also the nerve center of the global economy and oil supplies, as well as global energy security," said GCC Secretary-General Nayef Al-Hajraf.

Bahrain condemned the attack and said it was a violation of international laws, while the Egypt foreign ministry threw its support behind Saudi Arabia and measures it will take to address the "cowardly" acts.

The Kuwaiti ministry of foreign affairs accused the attack of being perpetrated by extremists.

This is not the first attack on Aramco facilities.

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed an attack on a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jeddah last week, the latest in a series of cross-border missile and drone strikes the group has done on the kingdom amid the grinding war in Yemen.

The Jeddah plant, which serves as a temporary storage facility for gasoline, diesel and other petrochemicals before distribution, sits just southeast of the city's King Abdulaziz International Airport, a major airfield that handles Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca.

In November Yemen's Houthi rebels attacked the Aramco plant in Jeddah and tore a hole in an oil tank, triggering an explosion and fire that was quickly extinguished.

The Iran-backed Houthis said had fired a Quds-2 missile at the facility in retaliation for Saudi Arabia's role at the head of a military coalition that supports the government in Yemen's long conflict.

Saudi Arabia has been targeted with dozens of ballistic missile and drone attacks since the start of last year, including a devastating and unprecedented strike on Aramco's facilities in the country's east.

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