Over the weekend, a drone attack struck Saudi Arabia and Abqaiq oil plant. According to various news outlets, the attack was claimed by the Houthis organization in Yemen. Even though they claimed the attack, the United States has placed the blame on Iran.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump suggested that the United States is aware of who conducted the attacks and is “locked and loaded” to respond.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was quick to place the blame on Tehran. According to Politico, Iran has supplied Houthis with equipment to carry out such attacks, even though they have denied the claim.
Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy. Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 14, 2019
Tensions have now been heightened in the region and oil futures have risen nearly 10%. President Trump authorized use of the strategic reserves if necessary and Saudi Arabia has suggested that it will utilize reserves to make up for the output. The attacks affected roughly 5% of the worlds oil supply.
All eyes are on Saudi Arabia awaiting their response to the attacks. The US has remained an ally relationship with Saudi Arabia for some time and many believe the US would support attacks on Tehran. The attacks and the rhetoric following the attacks has done nothing to improve the situation in the area.
There are many things at play here, but it would not be surprising if Iran was responsible for the attacks. First of all, Iran has been struggling with the sanctions that have been placed by the US. An attack on Saudi Arabia and the improvement of the oil prices will help the country economically with the partners that have ignored the US calls to forbid to do business with the country.
Additionally, it helps other nations who have oil interests in the area. Yemen, Russia and others all stand to benefit from the spike in the oil prices. Then there’s also the potential of war, which has seemingly been the push from multiple fronts for months by both the media and Iran. In this situation, it may not be the US that initiates strikes against Iran as the Saudi’s would potentially strike at those responsible.
No doubt we’ll learn more in the coming days, but tensions are high in the Middle East right now. As we await word from the Saudi’s, it is important that President Trump and others merely play the supporting role. I do not believe it’s a smart move for the US to step out and attack on it’s own. The attacks have been largely ignored by Congressional Democrats and it will be interesting to see their stance and talking points as the week progresses.
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