(Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia accused Iran on Thursday of ordering the drone attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels against its oil facilities, potentially heightening tensions in a major oil-producing region.

Prince Khalid Bin Salman, the vice minister for defense and brother of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, said in comments on Twitter that the attack by Iranian-backed Houthis undermined political efforts to resolve tensions in the Gulf. His comments come as Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes against Houthi positions in Yemen.

“The terrorist acts, ordered by the regime in Tehran, and carried out by the Houthis, are tightening the noose around the ongoing political efforts,” he said on Twitter, adding that “these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region.”

Saudi Pipeline Attack Highlights Risk to Middle East Oil Exports

The attacks on two Aramco oil pumping stations forced the temporary closure of a key east-west pipeline in the kingdom this week and raised tensions in the Gulf, where the U.S. has tightened sanctions against Iran. The pipeline has since reopened.

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lin Noueihed at lnoueihed@bloomberg.net

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