Saudi attempt to explode Iranian oil facilities aborted, top security official reveals

November 26, 2019 - 9:40

TEHRAN - Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani revealed on Sunday that Iran had successfully aborted an attempt by a small group of foreign-backed rioters to set oil facilities in the Persian Gulf port city of Assaluyeh on fire.

The attack was meant to be in retaliation for Yemenis’ attacks on the Saudi oil sites in September, Shamkhani said.

Yemen’s Ansarulla movement attacked the Saudi Aramco oil facility in September. However, the United States and Saudi Arabia attributed the attack to Iran without a substantial evidence.

The aborted attempt to detonate oil facilities in Assaluyeh came after the government announced a substantial increase in gasoline price on November 15.

"The attack on Assaluyeh had been planned by the enemy," Fars quoted Shamkhani as saying.

The top security official added, "The enemy appeared to be seeking to avenge what the Yemen Ansarullah did in attacking Saudi facilities, but it failed."

A few days before Shamkhani’s revelations, government spokesman Ali Rabiei had reported of attempts to cause explosions at the Assaluyeh oil pipeline facilities and a plan to attack sensitive telecommunications centers in Shiraz and a number of military bases, Fars reported. 

On November 15, the government raised extremely cheap gas price in order to moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per day, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.

The government has announced all proceeds from the price increase will be paid in the form of a cash subsidy to reduce inflation effect on the people.

According to the Planning and Budget Organization, the cash subsidy will be paid to 60 million citizens, who account for about 75 percent of the Iranian population.

The price reform, required under law, had been long delayed due to concerns regarding probable backlash over price rise.

The measure's adoption prompted initially peaceful protests, but certain elements abused the situation by destroying public property, setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire on people and security forces.


NA/PA

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