Houthis claimed responsibility for the drone attacks on the Saudi oil facilities, but the Saudi government has yet to comment on the claim.
John Bolton, the White House national security adviser and a longtime Iran hawk, announces the deployment of the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings", without providing details. Reports have stated that it would be economic suicide for Iran to continue to provoke the United States. But he also said, "Neither we, nor them is seeking war". In retaliation, Tehran declared last week that it would restart enriching uranium at higher levels if the global powers do not negotiate fresh terms for the deal. "It is easy to throw accusations but it is a hard situation, there are serious issues and among them is Iranian behavior", he said, mentioning concern about Iran's missiles and regional policy.
Leaders from the UK, France, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, Egypt, and Afghanistan joined the chorus of worldwide condemnation against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias whose explosive-laden drones hit targets in Al-Duadmi and Afif.
It was a telling remark from the supreme leader - Iran is not known to have enriched beyond 20% previously and it's unclear how far Tehran is willing to go in this process.
Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with Saudi Arabia and are believed by the West to receive weapons from Iran, said earlier Tuesday that they launched seven drones targeting vital Saudi installations.
Saudi Arabia confirmed earlier Tuesday that two of its oil pipeline booster stations were targeted early in the morning by drones, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
According to the Saudi Energy Ministry, the latest attack on two of its pumping stations had caused a fire.
Muslim World League Secretary-General Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said the attacks reflected the level of hatred terrorist organizations felt toward the Kingdom but added that would only increase Saudi Arabia's determination to confront the "forces of evil". The website TankerTrackers.com, whose analysts monitor oil sales on the seas, first reported about the black marks.
The incident followed Monday's report of sabotage that damaged two Saudi oil tankers.
The UAE government also said four ships were targeted off its coast.
Images of the Norwegian ship, which the company said was "not in any danger of sinking", showed damage similar to what it described.
"On Iran, it doesn't really help to hear Foreign Minister Zarif trying to offer a moderate voice with regards to Iran's intentions", Gargash said.
On Wednesday, the United States ordered all non-emergency staff to leave its embassy in Baghdad and consulate in Arbil, northern Iraq, after accusing the Islamic republic of planning "imminent" attacks in the region.
That contradicts what British Maj.
"Although crude oil inventories built more than the market expected due to higher imports, prices remained supported due to the geopolitical dynamics of the Middle East", said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.
A USA official in Washington, without offering any evidence, told AP that a US military team's initial assessment indicated Iran or Iranian allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.