Pompeo says he wants 'peaceful resolution' in wake of Saudi oil attacks


Iran denies involvement in the September 14 attack that initially halved Saudi oil output and which Pompeo earlier called an act of war against the world's largest oil exporter.

Trump's close relationship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been challenged by opponents following the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi previous year in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the kingdom's long, bloody war in Yemen. "We believe that a military confrontation based on deception is bad".

In Riyadh, Saudi officials presented wreckage from drones that they said proves the attack was "unquestionably sponsored by Iran". "I think we've demonstrated that", he told reporters.

"While the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American, we're here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this", the secretary of state said.

"I am making a very serious statement that we don't want war; we don't want to engage in a military confrontation". "But we won't blink to defend our territory".

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, Sept 18, 2019.

Zarif also doubled down on Iran's position that it had no involvement in the strike on the Aramco site.

Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed the attack, saying it is over the yearslong Saudi-led war there that's killed tens of thousands of people. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that the Houthi claim "lacks credibility".

Nowadays, there are 88 Patriot launchers - 52 of which are the newest PAC-3 version - shielding Saudi Arabia's northern border, he said.

The Houthis said Saturday's assault was launched from three locations inside Yemen, using advanced drones with long-range capabilities. I make a very serious statement about defending our country. He made the remarks while speaking from Abu Dhabi.

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"If you want peace and security for your facilities, and towers made of glass that can not withstand one drone, then leave Yemen alone", he said.

Trump said he is not looking to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a United Nations event in NY this month.

Riyadh has displayed what it described as remnants of 25 Iranian drones and missiles used in the strike, saying it was undeniable evidence of Iranian aggression.

Asked whether military retaliation was being considered, he said "everything is on the table".

Cinzia Bianco, a Middle East analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations, warned of "an out-of-control chain of escalatory events".

The Saudi state oil giant, however, is considering sending more non-Saudi crude oil to its refineries operating under joint ventures outside Saudi Arabia, the sources told Bloomberg.

"However the dominant thinking there points to the United States targeting critical infrastructure in Iran as to minimise or exclude any human cost".

Meanwhile, a senior advisor to Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Gulf countries to "come to their senses", Iran's semi-official Fars news agency reported. Australia, Bahrain and the United Kingdom also are taking part.

Zarif, himself under U.S. sanctions since July 31, described the measures as "illegal" and "inhuman" and created to hurt ordinary citizens.