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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Saudi oil production devastated

by our Arab Affairs correspondent

SAUDI OIL production has been halved following a devastating Yemeni drone attack on two huge Saudi Arabian oil refineries along the Persian Gulf last weekend. The Saudis and their American masters say the Iranians did it but the Russians are calling for an unbiased investigation amid speculation in the Russian media that the strike may have come from Qatar or the Emirates, whose rulers are at loggerheads with the House of Saud.

Oil prices soared by 20 per cent after the attacks, at one point reaching $71.95 a barrel. But this fell to $64 following Saudi claims that full production will be restored by the end of the month.

The Houthi Yemeni government, which is fighting the Saudis who support the imperialist-backed regime in the south of the country, say the attack dubbed ‘Operation Deterrent Balance 2’, was a response to the Saudi aggression.

Brigadier-General Yahya Sari said that ten Houthi drones hit the Saudi Aramco oil refineries in Buqayq and Khurais with devastating effect on Saturday. The Yemeni general advised foreigners to avoid the two targeted towns in the future as they could be hit again and he warned the Saudis that they can expect more of the same if they continue with their aggression against his country.

In Washington the Americans have been quick to blame the Iranians. They say that this attack was far beyond the capabilities of the Houthi forces as both targets are over 1,100 km away from Houthi controlled north Yemen. But the only ‘evidence’ that the imperialists have produced to back up their claims are some American satellite images of the strike impact which hardly constitutes proof of Iranian involvement.

US President Donald Trump said that the US is “locked and loaded” to respond against the Islamic Republic of Iran and that he was only staying his hand because he was waiting for verification and advice from the Saudis.

Meanwhile Trump’s minions have been stoking up the fire. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claims Iran has already conducted about ‘100 attacks’ on Saudi Arabia. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is openly calling for American military strikes on Iran’s oil facilities while ABC News repeats claims from “a senior Trump administration official” that “Iran launched nearly a dozen Cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory” on the Saudi targets.

But this has been dismissed in Tokyo by Japan’s defence minister, Taro Kono, who said his country believes that there was no evidence about Iran’s involvement in attacking Saudi oil facilities.

In Tehran Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced all this American nonsense as lies. “The US should seek to look at the realities in the region, rather than simply using distractions. We feel that the US government is trying to somehow forget the realities in the region,” Zarif said. And Defence Minister Amir Hatami insisted that the Islamic Republic had played no role in the attacks. “Quite obviously, it was a military clash between the two countries,” he said. “The Yemenis were one of the sides, they said themselves they did it”