A fire erupted at an oil pipeline connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and the two Arab allies are pointing the finger at Tehran. Iranian officials denied any involvement, but the incident is the latest in a series of events that are intensifying conflict between the Middle Eastern rivals.
The oil pipeline resumed operations in a matter of hours, but the war of words is heating up. Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Khalifa said on Twitter that the “attempt to bomb the Saudi-Bahraini oil pipeline is a dangerous Iranian escalation that aims to scare citizens and hurt the global oil industry.” A spokesperson for Iran fired back, saying that the Bahrainis “need to know that the era for lies and childish finger-pointing is over.”
The incident comes only days after a missile was fired from Yemen into Saudi Arabia, which the Saudis pinned on Iran.
Meanwhile, a web of intrigue has enveloped Lebanon, the small country in which all the regional powers hope to exert their influence. Earlier this month, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri resigned and decamped to Saudi Arabia, blaming Iran and Hezbollah for putting his life and his family’s safety at risk.
But, Hezbollah said Hariri is actually being held captive by the Saudis. Riyadh, in turn, warned Saudi nationals to leave Lebanon. Israeli leaders have said they would bomb Lebanon back to the Stone Age.
To further confuse matters, Hariri said he could withdraw his resignation and continue on as prime minister, so long as Hezbollah quit interfering in regional conflicts. “I am not against Hezbollah as a party; I have a problem with Hezbollah destroying the country,” he said.
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