Tuesday, September 17, 2019 – Center on National Security at Fordham Law

 U.S. Intelligence Indicates Attack on  Saudi Oil Originated in Iran

U.S. intelligence reportedly indicates that the attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities on Saturday originated from Iran, according to sources familiar with the intelligence. U.S. officials shared with Saudi Arabia the intelligence reports and their assessment that Iran launched more than 20 drones and at least a dozen ballistic missiles at the Saudi oil facilities, but Saudi officials said the United States didn’t provide enough proof to conclude that the attack was launched from Iran. Saudi Arabia said it would invite United Nations experts to investigate and would wait for the results before deciding how to respond.

Iraq said on Monday it had been told by the United States that Washington did not suspect the attack had been launched from Iraqi territory. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly told Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi by phone that “the information [the U.S. has] confirms the Iraqi government’s statement that its territory was not used to carry out this attack,” the Iraqi government said. The Iraqi statement said Pompeo and Abdul Mahdi had agreed to share intelligence over the attack. The Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen claimed responsibility following the attack, but U.S. officials have said they believe the strikes may have originated from either Iran or Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iran dismissed the possibility of a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and President Trump on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week. “Neither is such a plan on our agenda nor will such a thing happen,” Seyed Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said at a news conference. Mousavi added that if the United States “stops economic terrorism and returns to the nuclear deal, then they may sit at a corner and be present within the framework of the nuclear deal member states.” Wall Street Journal, Reuters, NBC News, New York Times
Washington Post: Pentagon Urges Restraint as Administration Blames Iran for Saudi Strikes
Reuters: Iran’s Rouhani Says Aramco Attacks Were a Reciprocal Response by Yemen
BBC News: Saudi Oil Attacks: NATO Chief ‘Extremely Concerned About Escalation’
Politico: Putin Says Saudi Arabia Should Buy Russian Air Defense System


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