Trump administration officials are telling reporters and that there is no doubt that the attack on the oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia originated from Iranian soil, although Trump himself is being less dogmatic in his public statements. It appears that Trump wants all of the evidence to come in before making a final decision about what to do, but clearly he is leaning toward military action against Iran. And when we hit Iran, there is a very high probability that they will hit back. In fact, the Iranians have already stated unequivocally that they will defend themselves. So as I discussed yesterday, we are potentially facing a scenario that could ultimately lead to World War 3.
It is true that Trump did tell reporters on Monday that he does not want war, but war may be coming anyway. If the evidence that he is shown clearly demonstrates that the attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iran, President Trump is going to feel forced to respond militarily.
Trump has indicated that he will have all the evidence that he needs to make a final decision very soon, and when a reporter asked Trump if a military response to the attack on Saudi Arabia would be “proportionate”, Trump responded affirmatively…
‘I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see – You look at a vector, and you look at – there are lots of different things we can look at,’ Trump told DailyMail.com as he left the White House for New Mexico. ‘And we’ll know for certain over the next pretty short period of time.’
Asked if he would order military action if he is sure who was behind the attack, Trump said: ‘Then we’re going to decide.’
When a reporter asked if the response would be proportionate, Trump responded: ‘I would say yes.’
In other words, if it is ultimately determined that Iran was behind the attack on Saudi oil production facilities, we should probably expect the U.S. to hit similar facilities in Iran in return.
Such an attack could spark a much broader conflict, and it could easily set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to stop.
Even though the Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attack in Saudi Arabia, at this point virtually everyone is coming to the conclusion that Iran did it.
For example, this is what the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen is saying…
The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said on Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into Saturday’s strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, was still going on to determine the launch location.
And a “senior Trump administration official” has told ABC News that the U.S. has solid evidence that the Iranians “launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory”…
Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump administration official told ABC News Sunday.
It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge of high tensions.
In addition, CNN is reporting that an unnamed “U.S. official” has told them that the Trump administration “has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran”…
The US has told at least one US ally in the Middle East, that they have intelligence showing that the launch was “likely” coming from staging grounds in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet. “It is one thing to tell us, it is another thing to show us,” said a diplomat from the region.
A US official separately tells CNN that the US has assessed that the attack originated from inside Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
So it sounds like the decision has already been made.
And even President Trump himself is telling the press that it is looking like Iran is responsible…
A day after threatening an armed response over an attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities, President Donald Trump said Monday that it looks as if Iran was responsible – but he doesn’t want war.
“Well, it’s looking that way,” Trump said when asked whether Iran is responsible for the missile and drone strikes this weekend on a major source of oil for the Saudis and the world. “As soon as we find out definitively, we’ll let you know. But it does look that way.”
I think that Trump is hesitant to actually use the military, and he definitely does not want to get the U.S. into yet another endless Middle East war.
But if the evidence shown to him indicates that Iran directly attacked Saudi oil production facilities, the pressure on him to do something will be immense.
At this point, even one of the top Democrats in the Senate is calling for a military response “if that’s what the intelligence supports”…
Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said Monday that the U.S. may need to use military force against Iran if intelligence reports determine Tehran was behind recent attacks on two Saudi oil refineries.
“This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran if that’s what the intelligence supports,” Coons said Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
As much as the Democrats like to attack Trump, most of them are simply not going to go against the intelligence community. And so if the intelligence ultimately indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack, most Democrats in Congress will end up supporting a military option.
In the end, it is so hard to predict what Trump will do when it comes time to make a final decision. Back in June, he called off a military strike against Iran at the last moment, and it is entirely possible that such a thing could happen again.
And as it stands right now, the Russians are clearly urging Trump not to pull the trigger…
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the U.S. statement, said: “We have a negative attitude towards rising tensions in the region and call for all countries in the region and outside of it to avoid any hasty steps or conclusions which may deepen destabilisation.”
In a separate statement on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it believed that the exchange of strikes on civilian targets was “a direct consequence of the ongoing sharp military and political crisis in Yemen”.
In addition, the Chinese are warning that a “revenge attack” against Iran could cause the region to “spiral out of control”…
China has warned President Trump that he is being manipulated by warhawks into believing “conspiracy theories” that Tehran was behind the attack on Saudi oil facilities and that any “revenge attack” on Iran could cause the Middle East to “spiral out of control.”
The warning was contained in an editorial posted by the Global Times, which is widely recognized as a Communist Party mouthpiece.
The Russians and the Chinese both understand how close to World War 3 we potentially are, and they both desperately want to avoid such a scenario.
Unfortunately, we live at a time of wars and rumors of wars, and circumstances seem to be inexorably pulling the entire globe toward military conflict.
It certainly appears that Trump would like to avoid a war with Iran, but is there a clear way out at this point?
If the intelligence that he is presented with clearly indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack against Saudi Arabia, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for him to do nothing.
So it is quite likely that a “proportionate response” is coming, and that could set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to control.