By staff and agency

Japan says has no intelligence Iran was involved in Saudi attacks

September 18, 2019

Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono has said that Tokyo has not seen any intelligence that shows Iran was involved in the recent attacks on Saudi Arabian oil installations.

“We are not aware of any information that points to Iran. We believe the Houthis carried out the attack based on the statement claiming responsibility,” Reuters quoted him as saying on Wednesday.

Kono on Monday said Japan cannot participate in any military retaliation because of constitutional restraints and would instead pursue a diplomatic solution to the current crisis.

Yemeni drone attacks hit oil installations in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Washington has claimed Iran was behind the attacks. Iran has categorically rejected the claim.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted, “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that “it’s certainly looking like Iran was behind these attacks.”

“As the president said, we don’t want war with anybody but the United States is prepared,” Pence said.

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has said that President Donald Trump administration’s information about Iran cannot be trusted.

“I think we should make sure that the American people understand that this administration that lies about weather maps or crowd sizes cannot be trusted to give us the full information we need to be able to make a decision whether we should be going to war with Iran,” she told CNN in an interview aired on Monday.

Omar was referring to Trump’s wrong claim in September that Alabama was set to be hit by Hurricane Dorian which was quickly refuted by the National Weather Service office in Birmingham Alabama, which tweeted that Alabama would “NOT” see any effects from Dorian. 

By crowd size, she was referring to Trump’s remarks in August in which he boasted about the number of people at his rally in New Hampshire

Omar added, “We are not in a position to think about another endless war and I really hope that our colleagues in Congress are going to pressure this administration to take a step back and figure out how we use diplomacy in de-escalating the situation.”

“Congress has the constitutional right to declare war. The president does not have it. Secretary of State [Mike Pompeo] does not have it,” she noted.

Wendy Sherman, the former undersecretary of state for political affairs who led the U.S. negotiating team that concluded the Iran nuclear agreement, noted on Monday that Trump has not the authority to go to war with Iran.

“The Senate is considering language, similar to House passed, affirming @realDonaldTrump does not have authority to go to war w/Iran under existing AUMF. Now would be a good time for the Senate and Congress to step up,” Sherman tweeted.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that the Yemenis’ drone attacks were merely for legitimate self-defense, and no one can expect the Yemenis to remain silent when their country is destroyed.

NA/PA

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