Based on the usual jingoistic rhetoric and threats out of Washington at the time of the Sept. 14 drone and missile strikes on Saudi Aramco facilities, it’s clear the major incident which temporarily knocked out Saudi Arabia’s ability to process oil brought the US and Iran to the brink of war.
It must be recalled that US administration officials had without a shred of evidence (in those early hours after the attack) dismissed the almost immediate Yemeni Houthi official military statements proudly owning up to the attack, instead, blaming Iran directly. It’s possible that this event and others blamed on Tehran could still lead to a US and allied war on Iran. US and Saudi officials had subsequently claimed “confirmation” based on rocket debris that the Islamic Republic was indeed behind it. Remember too that Trump had stated days after that the US military was “locked and loaded”.
But after an independent United Nations examination of weapons debris from the attack sites at facilities in Khurais and Abqaiq has failed to link the incident to Iran, this appears yet another case of US ‘rush to war’ lies debunked.
As US-funded official media wing RFERL has been forced to admit, there’s no evidence the weapons were “of Iranian origin” and UN investigators remain unable to link the attacks to Iran:
The United Nations has so far been unable to confirm Iran’s involvement in drone and cruise missile attacks on two Saudi oil facilities in September, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said.
In a report presented to the Security Council on December 10, Guterres wrote that UN investigators examined debris of weapons used in the attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil facilities.
The report summarizing the experts’ initial findings said they were not able to “independently corroborate” that those weapons were “of Iranian origin.”
US war drums had been beating steadily in the days following the attack, and the president had reportedly ordered ‘war plans’ to be drawn up by the Pentagon.
Trump had also tweeted that the US was “locked and loaded” but would await a response on the desired path forward from Saudi leadership.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Pompeo at the time was also the first top official to specifically name Iran as the culprit. He did so while visiting Saudi and Emirati leaders in a trip to assess the security situation on the ground.
Iran’s reaction to the US ‘readying’ military strike plans was to warn it would mean “All-out war,” according to statements at the time from Foreign Minister Zarif.
All of this means the world was again dangerously close to the start of yet another ‘regime change’ war in the heart of the Middle East, despite defense officials’ assurances any potential strike would be ‘limited’ (we’ve all heard such false promises many times before).
The final report, worked on by a team of international exports is expected out soon. But this week Secretary-General António Guterres announced, “At this time, it is unable to independently corroborate that the cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles used in these attacks are of Iranian origin,” in a preliminary report.
Also interesting is that the report noted that Yemen’s Houthis “have not shown to be in possession, nor been assessed to be in possession” of the types of drones used in the attack.
Likely the White House will reject the UN’s findings regardless, in a situation eerily similar to the years prior to the 2003 Iraq invasion.