Iran's aggression threatens the world, not just the Gulf


A television station run by Yemen's Houthi group said on Tuesday the Iran-aligned movement had launched drone attacks on Saudi installations, without identifying the targets or time of the attacks.

Jordan on Tuesday condemned the reported explosive-laden drone attack that struck two oil pumping stations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, affiliated with oil giant Aramco.

A UAE government official said the Saudi oil tankers Al-Marzoqah and Amjad were attacked off the emirate of Fujairah along with the Norwegian tanker Andrea Victory and an Emirati ship, the A. Michel.

They lie on the East West Pipeline, able to pump five million barrels of oil a day from oil-rich Eastern Province to a Red Sea port.

The minister also vowed that the Saudi oil supply and production won't be affected by the attacks.

"We need to do a thorough investigation to understand what happened, why it happened, and then come up with reasonable responses short of war", Ambassador John Abizaid told reporters in the Saudi capital Riyadh, in remarks published on Tuesday.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has also updated the military's plans for an Iranian attack on United States forces there, the New York Times reports.

He said that the "terrorist act" proves the importance of confronting all "terrorist" entities that carry out such "subversive" acts, including "Houthi militias".

Later in the NA session, the American Petroleum Institute will publish its weekly report on USA crude oil stockpiles ahead of tomorrow's official report by the DoE.

That is outweighing news that two Saudi oil tankers sustained "significant damage" in a "sabotage attack" off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Shia-majority Iran rivals Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia for influence in the Middle East, with the two taking opposing sides in multiple regional conflicts including in Yemen.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE have publicly blamed Iran for the attack so far.

A US official in Washington, without offering any evidence, told the AP that an American military team's initial assessment indicated Iran or Iranian allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

China on Monday ignored a warning from US President Donald Trump and moved to impose higher tariffs on a range of US goods including frozen vegetables and liquefied natural gas.

The Associated Press said that Emirati officials had declined a request for its journalists to be permitted to approach the vessels up close by ship and inspect the damage.

Suspected "sabotage operations" on four commercial ships in the Gulf have heightened turmoil in a region already on edge amid an acrimonious standoff between the United States and Iran over Tehran's nuclear programme.

If Iran did indeed back the two attacks, it would hardly be without precedent.

"God willing we will pass this hard period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy", he said in a meeting with clerics late on Monday.

About 30% of all seaborne oil exports pass through the Strait of Hormuz from Middle East crude producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.

Iran has denied involvement.

Tensions have risen since Trump withdrew America from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and restored U.S. sanctions that have pushed Iran's economy into crisis.

'We've seen this reporting, ' Pompeo said.