No evidence pertaining to Iran's involvement in Saudi attacks: Japan

TEHRAN, Sep. 18 (MNA) – Japan has not seen any intelligence that shows Iran was involved in the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, say’s the new Japanese defense minister.

“We are not aware of any information that points to Iran,” Taro Kono told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday.

“We believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility,” he added, referring to the Yemeni group incorporated into the armed forces fighting back a Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Japan has maintained cordial ties with Iran even as relations between Tehran and Washington have deteriorated.

Kono on Monday said Japan would not participate in any potential military action against Iran due to constitutional restraints and would instead pursue a diplomatic solution to the current tensions in the region.

The Yemeni military, which also comprises of members of the Ansarullah movement, targeted Abqaiq and Khurais oil facilities run by the Saudi state-owned oil company Aramco before dawn on Saturday.

The attacks knocked out more than half of the Saudi crude output or five percent of the global supply.

US officials soon claimed that the attacks had originated from inside Iran.

Iran has rejected the accusation and said the attacks were a legitimate act of self-defense by Yemen, which has been under incessant strikes by the Saudi-led, US-backed coalition since 2015.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s Ansarullah movement, which claimed responsibility for the attacks shortly after conducting them, has warned Saudi Arabia that targets “will keep expanding” if the Saudi-led war on Yemen continues.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing a former regime to power.

Yemeni forces have been hitting targets inside Saudi Arabia in retaliation.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.

MNA/PR

News Code 150207

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