Russian intelligence chief: Military scenario possible after Saudi oil attacks

A ‘military scenario’ is possible after attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities but hopefully the issue will be resolved peacefully, the Director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Sergey Naryshkin has said.

“There is a threat [of a military scenario]. But I hope for a peaceful resolution,” Naryshkin told reporters.

Two oil facilities owned by state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco were attacked by drones on Saturday night, cutting the kingdom’s oil output in half to around 5.7 million barrels per day and causing turmoil on international markets.

The Houthi rebel movement in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attacks, but US officials said that intelligence indicated that Iran was involved in the incident. Soon after the attacks US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo put the blame on Iran, writing on Twitter that “Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia.”

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, rejected the accusations as “incomprehensible and meaningless”. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, for his part, said that “having failed at ‘max pressure’ US Secretary of State Pompeo turned to ‘max deceit.”