Saudi Arabia accused Iran of “unquestionably” sponsoring the attacks on its oil infrastructure.
Showing debris from the alleged weapons used at a press conference on Wednesday, a defence ministry spokesman said there was no way the strikes could have been launched from Yemen, as claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.
Colonel Turki al-Malki said the recovered drone and missile parts provided “undeniable” evidence of Iranian aggression.
Al-Malki said a total of 25 drones and missiles were launched, including what he called Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
Saudi officials said the cruise missile, which had what appeared to be a jet engine attached to it, was a land attack cruise missile that failed to explode.
Saudi Attacks: World leaders urge restraint
“The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran,” he told a news conference. “We are working to know the exact launch point.”
Al-Malki didn’t directly blame Iran for the attack when asked by journalists. He said once “the culprits” were definitively identified they would “be held accountable”.
Tehran has denied involvement and warned the United States it would retaliate “immediately” if targeted over the strikes.
Iran has stuck with its account that the Houthi rebels are responsible, with President Hassan Rouhani saying on Wednesday they carried out the strike as a “warning” about a possible wider war in response to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler, said the attack on the heart of the kingdom’s oil industry was a “real test” of global will.
On Saturday, the attack struck the world’s biggest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia, as well as an oil field. It took out six percent of global supplies.
The United States has said its military was “locked and loaded”, suggesting it may retaliate against the perpetrators of the strikes on its closest Middle Eastern ally. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was traveling to Saudi Arabia for meetings.
The Saudi press conference came after Iran warned the United States it will retaliate “immediately” if Tehran is targeted, its state-run news agency reported, further raising Gulf tensions.
Iran sent a message through Swiss diplomats in Tehran on Monday, reiterating that Tehran denies being involved in the Saudi attack, IRNA reported. The Swiss have looked after American interests in Tehran for decades.
“If any action takes place against Iran, the action will be faced by Iran’s answer immediately,” IRNA quoted the message as saying. It added Iran’s response wouldn’t be limited to the source of the threat, suggesting it would inflict damage beyond what it had suffered.
‘Learn the lesson’
Trump says he would ‘certainly like to avoid’ war with Iran
In Tehran, Rouhani told his cabinet Saudi Arabia should view the strikes as a sign to end its devastating war in Yemen, where it has fought the Houthi rebels since 2015 and sought to restore the internationally recognised government.
Rouhani said Yemenis “did not hit hospitals, they did not hit schools or the Sanaa bazaar,” referring to the Saudi-led coalition’s widely criticised air strikes on civilian targets.
Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died in the disastrous war, which the United Nations described as the world’s worst humanitarian situation.
Rouhani said Iran does not want conflict in the region, but it was the Saudi-led coalition that “waged the war in the region and ruined Yemen”.
Reiterating that the Houthis were responsible for the strikes, he said: “They attacked an industrial centre to warn you. Learn the lesson from the warning.”