Pompeo Correctly Blames Iran for Saudi Oil Attacks

Pompeo Correctly Blames Iran for Saudi Oil Attacks

Pompeo Correctly Blames Iran for Saudi Oil Attacks

To paraphrase Ilhan Omar, “some people did something” on Saturday to major Saudi Arabian oil fields through drone strikes. Houthi rebels in Yemen quickly claimed responsibility, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said ‘not so fast.’ He blames Iran, not Yemen.

Pompeo tweeted:

“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.”

The ominous aspect here is that the drone attacks knocked out half of the Saudi kingdom’s crude production, which roughly translates to 5% of daily global production of crude oil. However, kingdom officials said they hoped to be fully back in business by Monday. Plus, the Saudis have enough oil reserves to offset Saturday’s loss.

As far as oil supplies in the U.S. — not to worry. We hold a massive global supply cushion since we can quickly raise our own output. In fact, we now produce 15% of global supply.

So the world may have, as they say, dodged a bullet.

But who really launched that drone attack?

But the Saudi oil refineries are hundreds of miles away from Houthi strongholds in Yemen. And while the Houthis have been nipping at the Saudis for some months now, this was the biggest blow yet. Where are rebels getting the muscle to pull off such a major attack?

Answer: Iran. Last year a U.N. panel suspected that Iran was providing drone and missile technology to the Houthis, but this being the U.N., they didn’t go so far as to directly accuse Iran.

A sign on display Joint Base Anacostia-Boling in Washington, D.C. Jan. 24, 2018 provides details provided by a non-government agency about Iran supplying Yemen’s Houthi rebels with unmanned aerial vehicle weaponry technology. The sign accompanies a multi-national collection of evidence proving Iranian weapons proliferation in violation of United Nations resolutions 2216 and 2231. (DoD photo)

But Mike Pompeo did, and that didn’t set well with Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s former speechwriter and forever fanboy. He snapped back at Pompeo’s tweet:

“The Houthis are not the same as Iran and the Saudis are fighting a war against them in Yemen. This is an incredibly dumb, dishonest and dangerous thing to say.”

No, what was dumb, dishonest, and dangerous was for Rhodes’s former boss to suck up to Iran by sending them $1.7 billion in cash in 2016. We’ve been paying for that stupidity ever since.

So why is Iran using the Houthis as proxies to pull off these shenanigans?

It’s because economic sanctions have been strangling Iran. President Trump just imposed new sanctions in June, putting an even greater squeeze on that nation. So now Iran is doing whatever it can to ratchet up oil prices, and what better way than to destroy Saudi refineries and jack up prices of crude? Especially when they can use Houthis as proxies so they can claim innocence.

Bob McNally, energy expert and former member of President George W. Bush’s National Security Council, explained it this way:

“If you really want to stab the Saudi regime in the heart and send oil prices up, this is your target.”

Plus, don’t forget that we’re allies of Saudi Arabia. And whom does Iran hate with the heat of a thousand suns? More than any other nation on earth?

You got it: the United States, the Great Satan. But Iran doesn’t want to attack us directly, so they use their proxies to stir up trouble.

Mike Pompeo knows this, and he’s absolutely correct to point the finger at Iran for Saturday’s drone attacks on the Saudi refineries.


Featured image: State Department/flickr/cropped/public domain.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • GWB says:

    So why is Iran using the Houthis as proxies to pull off these shenanigans?
    Because that’s what they do?
    It’s been the Iranian MO for ~40 years now. They train and equip terrorists (sometimes they’re straight up soldiers) in other countries to operate against their enemies (e.g., Hezbollah).

    Ah, it was “help from people inside Saudi Arabia.” Hmmmm. There’s the real rub. (Note that he doesn’t say Saudis helped them. But that leaves a LOT of people in SA.)

    One thing that drives me crazy – what do you mean when you say “drones”? I think a lot of Americans think of our big surveillance and attack drones, that are as big as a fighter plane. Others think of the little toys they got Timmy for Christmas.

    Based on the Israeli video in that news segment, we’re talking closer to an Amazon delivery drone. Which is still pretty small and should be spotted by any guarding force (if competent). There’s no way that a drone that size could pack a true wallop. But ten of them? Yeah, that could do some damage.

    My guess at a scenario:
    Workers inside the facility obtained GPS coordinates for critical infrastructure in the refinery – stuff that would ignite chemicals or fuel.
    A large number of vans drove up to the perimeter of the facility and unloaded large drones, with say 20-50lbs of explosives, each.
    The drones are pre-programmed with the coordinates – probably 2 or more to a target, and launched.
    The vans drive away and the terrorists hope like hell the drones get through.
    The drones reach their coordinates and drop their payload, which goes off on contact.
    Broken refinery and lots of fires and nasty black smoke.

    As to Iran’s hand in this? Probably.
    There are certain countries, that, if simply nuked back to the stone age, would improve the prospects for peace for a time, regardless of responsibility for individual acts. Of course, that peace wouldn’t last long, as new a**holes would arise to take their place. But, that’s ok – we have lots of nukes.

    • Charles N. Steele says:

      Yes, it’s well-documented the Houthi movement is armed by the Iranians and has IRGC training and advisors. Iran fights wars across the Middle East and North Africa using other people.

      I think it’s the real reason a nuclear-armed Iran would be so dangerous. Iran couldn’t muster an attack sufficient to take out the United States, but they could have proxies initiate a war of extermination against Israel while saying “no Western intervention unless you’re willing to lose a major American or Eurpean city.”

    • Kim Hirsch says:

      “What do you mean when you say drones?”

      Sorry to drive you crazy, but no news article I found specified the type of drones. Yes, I know there are multiple sizes of drones. But I have to work with the information I read.

      • GWB says:

        Oh, that wasn’t directed at you, but at the journalists who toss that word around without knowing much about what they’re saying (much like firearms).
        Sorry if it came across that way.

  • bob sykes says:

    I do not doubt that Iran supplied the drones, or at least the parts, to the Houthis. Nor do I doubt that the drones were launched from Yemen, over 600 miles away. However, Pompeo is talking us into a major war with Iran. Such a war would be on the same scale as the Vietnamese War, and likely would end in an American defeat. Both Russia and China would become involved, at least to the extent of supplying Iran with weapons, as they did for the North Viet Nam. The possibility of a world war would be substantial.

    Moreover, a US-Iranian war would almost certainly shut down all oil exports from the Gulf for the duration. That’s 20% of world oil consumption, and 40% of European consumption. A Great Depression would be unavoidable, even if a world war was avoided.

    The ever-increasing Israel attacks from Beirut to easter Iraq are also contributing to the war fever.

    • GWB says:

      Nor do I doubt that the drones were launched from Yemen, over 600 miles away.
      Sorry, but ain’t no way that happened. The only “drones” that have that sort of range are actual aircraft that couldn’t be missed (especially 10 of them!) by various air defense and traffic control radars. And everything coming out of Yemen has Saudi air defenses aimed at it.

      As to Iran = Vietnam, it certainly doesn’t have to be. A proper war executed by warmakers (not by politicians) to achieve a victory, would certainly end up much different from Vietnam. It also would not bear the burden of a gradual build-up and the impact that had on domestic politics. It would also not likely be a “containment” war.

      No, a war with Iran could turn out badly, but it would be very unlikely to be another Vietnam.
      Afghanistan, OTOH…….

    • Charles N. Steele says:

      I disagree. Iran is already engaged in war with us, including cyberattacks and attempted terror attacks on U.S. soil, amassing stockpiles of explosives in both Britain and France, and attempted bombing of an Iranian opposition conference in Europe.

      An appropriate military response would not be a Viet Nam style invasion; I can’t imagine why you think that’s the only option. What’s called for is bombing of key military targets to reduce Iran’s ability to project power, and the destruction of the Kharg Island port facilities and other essential oil infrastructure.

      Your pro-Iranian position is strange. The Israelis are perfectly justified in attacking Iranian positions in Syria. The Iranian regime openly states it intends to exterminate Israel. Apparently you think the Israelis should accept this.

  • Brian Brandt says:

    And this is our problem because . . . .

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