RIYADH    -   Iran bears responsibility for the attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities on Sept 14 and that the Kingdom was working with allies to decide an appropriate response, Saudi Arabian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said on Saturday.

Al-Jubeir said the attacks were undertaken with Iranian weapons and it was for this reason that Iran should be held accountable for the incident, adding: “We are certain that the attacks did not come from Yemen but from the north. Investigations will prove that.”

In a press conference held in the Saudi capital, Al-Jubeir also said that the attacks on Aramco facilities were also targeting global energy security and that Saudi Arabia would take appropriate steps to respond if investigations confirm that Iran is responsible. “The Kingdom will take appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability,” Al-Jubeir said.

Saudi Arabia has rejected claims from Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis that they carried out the strikes, the largest-ever assault on Saudi oil facilities in the world’s top oil exporter. Tehran has denied any involvement in the attacks.

Saudi Arabia is consulting with its allies to “take the necessary steps”, Al-Jubeir said, urging the international community to take a stand. “The Kingdom calls upon the international community to assume its responsibility in condemning those that stand behind this act, and to take a firm and clear position against this reckless behaviour that threatens the global economy,” he said.

“The Iranian position is to try to divide the world and in that it is not succeeding.”Saudi Arabia on Friday revealed extensive damage to key oil facilities following weekend aerial strikes that were blamed on Iran, but vowed to quickly restore full production even as regional tensions soar.

Yemen’s Tehran-linked Houthi rebels, who on Friday announced a sudden halt to attacks on Saudi Arabia, claimed the strikes on state giant Aramco’s facilities in Khurais and the world’s largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq.

But Washington has pointed the finger at Tehran, condemning an “act of war” which knocked out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and on Friday prompted US President Donald Trump to sketch out the latest in a series of economic sanctions against Iran.

Abqaiq was struck 18 times while nearby Khurais was hit four times in a raid that triggered multiple explosions and towering flames that took hours to extinguish, Aramco officials said.

In a related development, the United States is deploying military forces to the Middle East after Saturday’s drone attacks on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia that the administration of President Donald Trump has blamed on Iran.

“The president has approved the deployment of US forces which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defence,” US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said at a news conference.

Answering reporters’ questions about the deployment, Gen Joseph F Dunford Jr, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the troop deployment as “modest” and “not thousands.”

Dunford said he planned to confer with US Central Command and Saudi officials to work out details of the deployment, which he said would be announced next week. The United States will also accelerate shipment of military hardware to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, he said.

The defence secretary said the troop deployment to those nations is happening as Iran has engaged in a “significant escalation of violence” in the region.

Esper said “The weapons used in the Iranian attack were Iranian produced and were not launched from Yemen as was initially claimed.”

However, he emphasized that Saudi Arabia is leading the investigation into the attack. “We will keep them in the lead with regard to the forensics, so we need to let that play out, let the evidence play out,” Esper said.

Esper expressed hope that the military show of force would “prevent further escalation.”

“As the president has made clear, the United States does not seek conflict with Iran,” Esper said. “That said we have many other military options available should they be necessary.”

Saudi Arabia requested what the secretary described as “extra defensive support,” he said, and it will “send a clear message that the United States supports our partners in the region.”

The extra troops would help “ensure the support free flow or resources necessary to support the global economy,” Esper said.

Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard responded Saturday, with its chief commander saying it is ready for combat and “any scenario.”

General Hossein Salami, at a ceremony displaying pieces of an American drone Iran shot down in June, said that his forces have carried out “war exercises and are ready for any scenario.”

He added: “If anyone crosses our borders, we will hit them.”

Iran has denied involvement in the Sept 14 attack that was initially claimed by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is in New York for the UN meetings, has warned that any retaliatory strike on Iran by the US or Saudi Arabia will result in “an all-out war.”

Zarif claimed in a tweet that Saudi Arabia does not believe its own allegations that Iran was responsible for the attack on Saudi oil sites. “It is clear that even the Saudis themselves don’t believe the fiction of Iranian involvement”, Zarif said, pointing to what he described as a Saudi retaliatory attack on Houthi forces in southwestern Yemen.

Salami added that Iran does not want to start a conflict, but appeared to warn the US and Saudi Arabia that Iran is prepared. “We won’t stop until the destruction of any aggressor. And we will not leave any secure spot,” he said. “Do not miscalculate and do not make a mistake.”

President Donald Trump signaled on Friday that he was not inclined to authorize an immediate military strike on Iran in response to the attacks on the Saudi oil industry, saying he believes showing restraint “shows far more strength” and he wants to avoid an all-out war.