Bahrain blames Iran for oil pipeline blast
Bahraini officials blamed Iran for a Nov. 10 oil pipeline explosion south of Manama in an escalation of Persian Gulf tensions dismissed by Iranian counterparts as “absurd and false.” The blast at the village of Buri, 10 miles south of Manama, damaged several buildings. The fire was quickly extinguished after Bapco cut flow through the damaged AB3 pipeline.
The blast at the village of Buri, 10 miles south of Manama, damaged several buildings. The fire was quickly extinguished after Bahrain Petroleum Co. (Bapco) cut flow through the damaged AB3 pipeline.
The pipeline is one of three that carry crude to the 260,000-b/d Bapco refinery at Sitra from offshore Abu Safa, shared by Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and operated by Saudi Aramco.
A press statement said Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa called the incident “the latest example of a terrorist act performed by terrorists in direct contact with and under instruction from Iran.”
A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qassemi, said Bahraini officials “should know that the era of making such absurd and false statements and the time of playing such childish blame games has come to an end.”
Iran also has denied claims by Saudi Arabia that it supplied a missile launched in Yemen that was destroyed before hitting its target in Riyadh on Nov. 4. One Saudi official alleged the missile was launched by Hezbollah, which Iran supports.
Saudi-Iranian antagonism rose further when Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation while in Riyadh, citing rising Hezbollah influence in Lebanon and saying he feared assassination (OGJ Online, Nov. 7, 2017).
Mostly-Sunni Saudi Arabia has been fighting Shia Houthi rebels, who receive support from Shia Iran, in Yemen.
Bahrain has a Shia majority population but is ruled by Sunnis.
Saudi officials are resisting what they see as Iranian expansionism in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.