Smoke is seen following a fire at Aramco facility in the eastern city of Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer
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U.S. blames Iran for Saudi attacks, 'pretend' diplomacy

23 Comments
By Alexandra Alper

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused Iran of leading an attack on Saudi oil plants that has impacted half the kingdom's output, as he ruled out Yemeni involvement and denounced Tehran for engaging in false diplomacy.

"Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while Rouhani and Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy," Pompeo said in a Twitter post, referring to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif.

"Amid all the calls for de-escalation, Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply," Pompeo tweeted, offering no evidence of the origin of the attacks.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group claimed credit on Saturday for attacks on two plants at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, including the world's biggest petroleum processing facility, in strikes that three sources said had disrupted output and exports.

The attacks follow earlier cross-border attacks on Saudi oil installations and on oil tankers in Gulf waters.

Saudi Arabia, which leads a Sunni Muslim coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis, has blamed regional rival Shiite Iran for previous attacks. Tehran has denied the allegations. Riyadh also accuses Iran of arming the Houthis, a charge denied both by the group and Tehran.

The White House said on Saturday that the United States was committed to keeping oil markets well-supplied in the wake of the attack, which sources said affected 5 million barrels per day of crude production - close to half of the kingdom's output or 5% of global supply.

U.S. President Donald Trump has stepped up sanctions against Iran since he withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and six world powers that aimed to keep a lid on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Still, he has said he would be open to meeting with Rouhani, perhaps on the sidelines of the United National General Assembly in New York later this month. Pompeo said such talks could take place without any preconditions.

Rouhani has said Tehran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, would not talk to the United States until Washington lifts the sanctions choking Iran's economy.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

23 Comments
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attack on the world's energy supply,"

The globe remains dependent on oil decades after it should have found alternatives to burning so much of the stuff. We remain dependent because fossils like Pompeo and Trump are fossil economy beneficiaries.

We are stuck with Gulf oil states like Saudi, Iran, UAE, Kuwait, etc. having way more influence over world affairs solely because they have oil and gas.

We are stuck fighting wars for oil because people like Pompeo, who's owned his own defense businesses, profit from wars for oil. We are stuck because 'believers' like evangelical Pompeo and the Gulf theocracies use their belief systems to rally their fellow 'believers'.

We are stuck because people like Pompeo, Trump and the Gulf theocracies are climate change deniers.

We are stuck because oil producing states like Russia are joining forces with other oil producing states.

The best hope for moving away from fossil economies is for more people living in democracies to vote out the fossils. Unfortunately many in the oil states are doing what they can to 'meddle' in the affairs of democratic states to ensure the fossils remain in charge.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The key points of the above article are:

Pompeo provided no evidence of the origin of the attacks.

Yemen's Houthi group claimed credit for the attacks.

I guess Pompeo desperately wants to get a war with Iran going before he follows Bolton's path...

4 ( +7 / -3 )

LIterally hundreds and hundreds of account created to support a single agenda of definite groups - Russians, Japanese,... Iranians; anti-american statements everywhere: accounts that have zero participation in commentaries under Japanese news, but always there for the news that mention a state they are hired to wage informational war for/against. Golden age of scum.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Pompeo with zero evidence geez the Trump administration are trying their hardest to beat that drum....

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Iran has no motive to start up with SA, but Netanyahu has every incentive to blame them in the run up to an election he may well lose. Trump will fall in line with Bibi in hopes of attracting votes from US Jews he's branded as "disloyal", 70% of whom repudiate him.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Abqaiq is not just an "oil installation, but a critical one. It is the largest facility of its kind in the world which is to desulfurize about 5 million barrels of crude oil per day without which it can't be processed by most oil refineries. Also it conditions the oil so it can be carried safely in tankers.

This fire will shut that facility down for some time. Its selection for attack shows an understanding of the crucial nature of its operation.

It's a big deal.

In my opinion, if Junior Bush had attacked the head of the snake after the 9-11 attacks - Saudi Arabia - instead of the tail of the snake - Afghanistan - none of this would be happening. The US may be the richest nation on the planet, but it is also the most gullible and naive.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

 the US is in no position to take on talibunnies, let alone Iran.

Oh the US can destroy, but they will suffer great casualties and expense, something which Pompeo's zionist masters don't care at all about.

In my opinion, if Junior Bush had attacked the head of the snake after the 9-11 attacks - Saudi Arabia

You mean Tel Aviv, right?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In my opinion, if Junior Bush had attacked the head of the snake after the 9-11 attacks - Saudi Arabia - instead of the tail of the snake - Afghanistan - none of this would be happening.

And you'd be misguided for hokding that opinion. Sure, Osama was a Saudi national, BUT, his support network was not in Saudi Arabia. SA and Iran have been arch enemies in just about every way you can think of, even in selling oil.

IMO, it's wrong altogether to be fighting a conventional war against these terrorists. Powerful armies sometime needs to let their money talk rather than their bombs.

As to whether Iran would sponsor these kinds of events despite SA, of course they would, it's got nothing to do with SA, it's all about nukes, and they are attacking western proxy to hurt western political interests.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

First off, if you believe Pompeo or the Saud regime, I have a nice fleet of only slightly mobile chemical weapons lab trucks to sell you.

Secondly, it is not the absolute size of a military that counts, it is how much of it is available to be sent somewhere, and how fast they can be resupplied that counts.

If you've paid attention over the past few years, you know that the US is already effectively maxed out on how many people it can scrape free from its commitments around the world to send to the ME, and its supply chain there is already pretty shaky. Iran, on the other hand has pretty much its entire (small, but dedicated) standing army available, and, unlike the US, can rapidly ramp up both the number of troops from volunteers, equip them with all the newest gear and ammunition, and establish pretty secure and capable supply lines, not just because they are short, but because they can make friends and find allies along the lines.

Thirdly, consider this, the Sauds and the Americans obviously knew that this refinery complex was a vital asset to them (The Saud family for the money that they need to bribe their own subject population and for the money to pay for a mercenary army, the US for the oil supply they need to be able to blackmail countries into letting them commit economic terrorism against Iran) and would have surrounded it with as many layers of as much protection as they could, yet the drones still carried out a successful attack.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It seems more than one poster in underestimating the capacity for violence if the US.

Keep in mind that winning a war and obliterating a country are two different issues. The US can easily obliterate most countries, which is not to say that it could win a war against those countries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Oh great, another republican bearing the drum for war:

https://www.yahoo.com/news/lindsey-graham-iran-attack-oil-refineries-saudi-arabia-000153398.html

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Iran denies it, the Houthis say they done it, but Pompeo knows it all within 24 hours and he knows better than anyone, because he's got an Agenda.

It was great to see the back of Bolton, but Pompeo's almost as big a worry.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Instead of attacking the country responsible, Junior Bush rushed Saudi citizens out of the US. They were the only ones allowed to fly except the military. Which is more evidence that 9/11 (the "new Pearl Harbor" that Bolton et al had wished for in 2000) was a Operation-Northwoods-style hit ordered up by the Bush regime for the purpose of getting their wars started.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Chip StarToday  08:21 am JST

I agree that Iran should not engage the US because Donny has demonstrated he lacks good faith. 

What makes you say he lacks good faith? He has repeatedly offered to have talks with Iran, but Iran refuses to budge until sanctions are lifted.

Even North Korea agreed to meet with Trump, despite sanctions not having been lifted.

So why won't Iran? And why are you blaming stalled talks on Trump instead of them?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

NorthernlifeToday  08:34 am JST

Pompeo with zero evidence geez the Trump administration are trying their hardest to beat that drum....

Offering evidence at this point could compromise classified information, as well as secret operations and the intelligence agents carrying them out.

So, let's not leap to the conclusion that just because they're not offering evidence, it must automatically mean that they're fabricating things.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Iran is spreading hostilities and enriching a uranium since Trump became president. The exact opposite of what we wanted.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What makes you say he lacks good faith? He has repeatedly offered to have talks with Iran, but Iran refuses to budge until sanctions are lifted.

You're jumping ahead in the timeline. Do you really need to be reminded that Iran was upholding its end of the nuclear agreeament when Donny pulled out?

Parties engaging in a deal in good faith do not unilaterally terminate the deal when the other side is not in breach.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So why won't Iran? And why are you blaming stalled talks on Trump instead of them?

See my post immediately above.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, let's not leap to the conclusion that just because they're not offering evidence, it must automatically mean that they're fabricating things.

This is rich coming from someone that blames Iran for Donny's bad faith.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Iran is spreading hostilities and enriching a uranium since Trump became president. The exact opposite of what we wanted.

If you believe that, boy, I have a bridge to sell you. Lol

They were going to do that regardless and especially after the Sunset clause expired, so either way, the Mullahs goals ultimately and always has been to wipe Israel off the map as well as Saudi Arabia and foolishly try to do the same to the US.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@JenniSchiebel So, let's not leap to the conclusion that just because they're not offering evidence, it must automatically mean that they're fabricating things..

Oh thats right the US never fabricates anything before they bomb a Country into the middle ages my bad...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Rouhani has said Tehran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, would not talk to the United States until Washington lifts the sanctions choking Iran's economy.

Oh well, I guess they keep getting choked then.

Parties engaging in a deal in good faith do not unilaterally terminate the deal when the other side is not in breach.

Oh, OK, so let's go back to the deal so Iran can have a nuclear weapon in about 10 years, and continue to support terrorist groups unhindered by sanctions. Good idea.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Sounds like the actions and rhetoric that "justified" America's wars of aggression against Vietnam and Iraq and Afghanistan. Now targeting Iran. We won't need to worry about Climate Change destroying us, if we allow nuclear annihilation by creating WW3. We need to stop our so-called leaders setting us on that path!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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