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ANALYSIS: The attacks have raised concerns about a new war with Iran

2019-09-19T11:32:28.373Z

This weekend's attacks against Saudi Arabia have heightened concern that US-Iran tensions could escalate into a new war. At the same time, it is still unclear exactly where the attacks came from.



The US Secretary of State calls Saturday's attacks on Saudi oil facilities a war act. Mike Pompeo - who landed in Saudi Arabia last night - also says it was "an Iranian attack".

Pompeo's condemnation of Iran is the harshest statement to date from the US on the attacks that temporarily halted half of Saudi Arabia's oil production and shook the world's oil prices.

The response from Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif came today. A Saudi or US attack on Iran will lead to a "full-scale war," Zarif told US television channel CNN.

Concern about escalation

In recent days, concerns have increased that tensions between the United States and Iran may escalate into a new war.

But while the US Secretary of State has been clear, the country's president has been more cautious. When Donald Trump was asked about a possible US attack on Iran, he responded that "There are many options. It is

the ultimate alternative, but there are also significantly smaller alternatives. "

Tensions between the US and Iran have increased since President Trump signed the international nuclear deal with Iran last year. After the US imposed harsher penalties this spring on Iran's economic lifeline - oil exports - several mysterious attacks have been carried out against oil pipelines and oil tankers around the Persian Gulf. The US has blamed Iran for the attacks. Iran has denied that it is behind. In June, Trump said it had been "ten minutes after an attack on Iran" after a US drone was shot down.

Shocked royal house

This weekend's attack has shocked the Saudi royal house and the Trump administration - which for years has talked about the importance of confronting Iran. But during the days that followed the attacks, it has also become clear that there is a hesitancy to do just that.

Although the country's oil facilities are heavily fortified with several defense ministers around, this kind of attack with drones and cruise robots had not been foreseen.

Questions remain

When Saudi Arabia's defense ministry yesterday showed the remains of the exploded drones and cruise missiles for the media, spokesman Turki al-Malki said there was evidence that the attacks had come "from the north" and were "sponsored by Iran".

But they did not specify who exactly had carried out the attack or what action they wanted the United States to take. Al-Malki said people are still working to find out where the attack came from and that the investigation is continuing.

UN experts have now arrived in Saudi Arabia to investigate the attacks. At the same time, the UN Secretary-General warns that a major military confrontation with Iran and Saudi Arabia involved would have devastating consequences.

Iran refuses

Iran has continued to deny that it is behind the attacks and called the allegations "baseless".

Yemen's skinheads who have taken on the attacks say that the satellite images to prove Iran's involvement are fabricated by the United States.

Although the United States has been clear in believing that Iran is behind the attacks, there is a clear hesitation in bringing the United States into a military escalation caused by an attack that has not killed Americans. According to Trump, new financial sanctions against Iran will be presented within 48 hours.

US trip is canceled

Earlier, it was speculated that a meeting between Donald Trump and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani would be held in conjunction with the UN General Assembly in New York next week. But yesterday, it became known that the Iranian president and foreign minister are considering canceling the US trip because some 40 members of the Iranian delegation have been denied their visa applications.

Source: svt

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