TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani underlined that the Yemenis' offensives on Saudi oil installations last week was a warning to the enemies to end war and conflicts in the region.
"Enemies of the region should take lesson from this warning and should be after extinguishing the fire of war in the region to let the people live in freedom and welfare," President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.
He referred to the recent wars launched by the U.S. and its allies in the region, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and the Persian Gulf region, calling on them to bring peace at least one time.
"Why do you always send gunpowder to the regional nations and avoid helping them and then raise allegations against other countries while no one believes these allegations," Rouhani said.
He dismissed the U.S. allegations about Iran's involvement in Yemenis' attacks on the Saudi oil installations, and said, "Iran wants friendly relations with its Southern neighbors."
President Rouhani defended the Yemeni people's right to respond to aggressions against their country, and said the Yemenis have not targetted schools, hospitals and markets (like what the Saudi-led coalition did in Yemen) and have attacked an industrial center to warn their enemies.
He underscored that Iran never wants clashes in the region, and said, "We should know that the Yemeni nation has not been the starter of the conflict, but Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the Americans, certain European states and the Zionist regime have launched a war in the region and destroyed Yemen."
Yemen’s Ansarullah movement announced on Saturday that its drones had successfully attacked two oil plants in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, stressing that the attacks were a firm response to Riyadh’s relentless bombardment of Yemen.
The recent operation came just weeks after Yemeni forces conducted attacks on an oil field affiliated to Saudi Aramco in the East of the kingdom in retaliation for Riyadh’s war on their country. Oil facilities at Shaybah, which has the largest strategic oil reserve in Saudi Arabia near the UAE border and operated by state-oil company Saudi Aramco, were targeted by 10 Yemeni drones.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced surprise over the U.S. officials indifference to the loss of thousands of civilians' lives in Yemen, including children, while showing much sensitivity to attacks against an oil refinery in Saudi Arabia.
"The Yemeni people have for 4.5 years been under the toughest crimes against humanity. These crimes have been confirmed by all international organizations. Children and infants in Yemen were killed in the past few years for the bombings that targeted children. (Now) the people of Yemen defended themselves (by attacking the Saudi oil installations)," Zarif told reporters in Tehran on Wednesday.
"Yesterday and the day before, the Americans proved that they show more sensitivity to an oil refinery than the killing of children. This shows the US wrong view of humanity and human status and dignity; they need to make a fundamental change in this view," he added.
Zarif dismissed again allegations of Iran's involvement in the Yemenis' Saturday attacks against the Saudi oil installations, and said, "Those who thought that they can defeat the nearly defenseless people of Yemen within days by military power and arms purchases from the US, have now seen that their advanced defense systems have no power to intercept the Yemeni missiles and drones after 4.5 years and they raise allegations against others to make up for this shame."
He also blasted the American officials for raising allegations against Iran, and said, "We have clearly stated that the U.S. should be trying to look at realities instead of projecting the blame on others. I feel that the U.S. government wants to forget the realities of our region."
Saudi Regime Joins U.S. Naval Mission
Saudi Arabia has joined a U.S.-led naval mission purportedly aimed at protecting shipping lanes in Middle Eastern waterways as Washington and Riyadh engage in another blame game against Iran following massive Yemeni drone attacks on key Saudi oil facilities.
Quoting an official source in the Defense Ministry, the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Wednesday that Riyadh had decided to be a member of the so-called International Maritime Security Construct, which operates in the Strait of Hormuz, Bab el-Mandab, the Sea of Oman and the Persian Gulf.
It also claimed that the U.S.-led coalition is meant to "protect merchant ships through providing safe navigation” and safeguard the interests of the alliance’s member countries.
Saudi Arabia’s accession to the mission, it further claimed, was "in support of regional and international efforts to deter and counter threats to maritime navigation and global trade in order to ensure global energy security and the continued flow of energy supplies to the global economy.”
The United States began trying to persuade its allies into the maritime coalition after it blamed Tehran for two separate attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June, without providing any credible evidence to back up the allegation, which Iran has categorically rejected.
The U.S.’s allies have turned a cold shoulder to such an alliance, which they believe could lead to tensions with Iran. Only the UK, Australia and Bahrain have so far joined the coalition.