By: By Ustad Abdul Latif Fazli
Tensions in the Middle East have surged following attacks on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The pre-dawn attacks on September 14 knocked out more than half of the top global exporter’s output – five percent of the global oil supply – or about 5.7 million barrels per day.
Following the attacks, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels claimed and took responsibility for the attacks where were strongly condemned by world countries including Afghanistan.
In a statement issued by presidential office on 17 September, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the latest terrorist attacks on major oil facilities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and terms them heinous and attacks on world economy.
President Ghani, on behalf of the Afghan nation and the government, expressed his deepest sympathy and unity with the people, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, according to the statement
The President of Afghanistan considered terrorism a serious threat that impeded economic growth and development of the regional countries and the world and has repeatedly emphasized on joint and forceful struggle against this ominous phenomenon.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had claimed that Tehran was behind the attacks, while later on, US President Donald Trump said in a tweet the US knew who the culprit was and was “locked and loaded” but waiting to hear from the Saudis about how they wanted to proceed.
The Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, promised to “confront and deal with this terrorist aggression. It also promised that it would consider all options in its response to an attack on its oil facilities, including a military one, once a probe into who was responsible was completed.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said Saudi Arabia believes Iran was behind the attacks, but added the United Nations was helping it identify the launch site of missiles and drones.
“We want to mobilise international support and we want to look at all options – diplomatic options, economic options and military options – and then make the decision,” he said.
He added expects the international investigation into who was responsible for the attack to be completed “fairly soon”.
“We want to avoid war but at the same time we have to signal to the Iranians that ‘your behaviour cannot continue’,” said al-Jubeir.
Meanwhile, leaders of the United Kingdom, France and Germany have also blamed Iran for the attacks on two Saudi oil facilities earlier this month.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel issued their statement on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack. There is no other plausible explanation. We support ongoing investigations to establish further details,” they said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted that the UK may withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, as US President Donald Trump did last year.
It is worth mentioning that eighteen drones and seven cruise missiles hit an oil field and processing facility on September 14. The attacks have been condemned globally and the world countries stood with Saudi Arabia and asked for investigation.