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US NewsSaudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action

10:00  16 september  2019
10:00  16 september  2019 Source:   msn.com

Satellite images show 'wanted Iranian oil tanker near Syria'

Satellite images show 'wanted Iranian oil tanker near Syria' An Iranian oil tanker being pursued by the US appears to have been spotted in satellite images stationed near a port in Syria. The Adrian Darya-1, which was carrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil worth about $130m (£108.4m), has been in the sights of Washington as a result of sanctions targeting the Iranian energy industry. Speculation has been rife that the vessel - formerly known as Grace 1 - was Syria-bound since it switched off its tracking system earlier this week, but Iranian officials have not acknowledged those reports.

A satellite image of smoke rising from a plant in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.Credit Planet Labs Inc, via Associated Press.

Washington says Iran is behind a weekend drone attack on a Saudi Arabia oil facility, with Trump Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran Oil -rich Kuwait also said it would increase security around the country’ s “vital sites” over the attacks .

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © Planet Labs Inc, via Associated Press A satellite image of smoke rising from a plant in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday.

The Trump administration intensified its focus on Iran Sunday as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and President Trump warning that he was prepared to take military action.

The government released satellite photographs showing what officials said were at least 17 points of impact at several Saudi energy facilities from strikes they said came from the north or northwest. That would be consistent with an attack coming from the direction of the Persian Gulf, Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen, where the Iranian-backed Houthi militia that claimed responsibility for the strikes operates.

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The Trump administration has intensified its focus on Iran as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and President Donald Trump warning that he was prepared to take military

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that "it' s looking like" Iran was behind this weekend' s attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia but suggested it was "With all that being said , we'd certainly like to avoid it." Trump indicated that the Saudis may have to pay if the US launches military action .

Video: Yemen drones hit Saudi oil sites (Associated Press)

Administration officials, in a background briefing for reporters as well as in separate interviews on Sunday, also said a combination of drones and cruise missiles — “both and a lot of them,” as one senior United States official put it — might have been used. That would indicate a degree of scope, precision and sophistication beyond the ability of the Houthi rebels alone.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © ASSOCIATED PRESS President Donald Trump speaks at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat Dinner in Baltimore, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Mr. Trump, however, did not name Iran, saying he needed to consult with Saudi Arabia first.

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President Trump said Monday that Iran appeared to have been responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. But he also said he would “like to avoid” a military conflict with Tehran, emphasized his interest in diplomacy and played down the attack ’ s jolt to the global oil market.

" 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 Trump ' s tweet, which appeared to raise the specter of a US military response, served to ratchet up tensions in a region already on edge after

“Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked,” he said in a tweet on Sunday evening. “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!”

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © ASSOCIATED PRESS Storage tanks are seen at the North Jiddah bulk plant, an Aramco oil facility, in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. The weekend drone attack in Buqyaq on one of the world's largest crude oil processing plants that dramatically cut into global oil supplies is the most visible sign yet of how Aramco's stability and security is directly linked to that of its owner -- the Saudi government and its ruling family. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Saturday that Iran was behind what he called “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” and asserted that there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.” He did not, however, say where they came from, and the Saudis refrained from directly blaming Iran.

Iran says it's ready for war with US after Saudi oil attack accusations

Iran says it's ready for war with US after Saudi oil attack accusations Iran has dismissed US accusations it was behind drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil plants, and warned it is ready for a "full-fledged" war. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Washington had adopted a "maximum pressure" strategy against Iran, but because of "it's failure [the US] is leaning toward maximum lies". His remarks came as a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards said America's military bases and aircraft carriers, which are stationed up to 1,243 miles around Iran, were within range of Iranian missiles.

US President Donald Trump authorized a US military strike near Baghdad' s airport which resulted in the death of Iran ’ s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani, the Pentagon confirmed in a statement on Thursday. FILE PHOTO : U . S . President Donald Trump © REUTERS/Leah Millis.

MEANWHILE -- “ Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran , U . S . Says ; Trump Hints at Military Action ,” by NYT’ s Eric Schmitt, Farnaz Fassihi and David Kirkpatrick: “The government released satellite photographs showing what officials said were at least 17 points of impact at several Saudi

The administration’s determination that Iran played a direct role in the attack marked a significant escalation in months of back-and-forth tensions between the United States and Iran. It raised questions about how Washington might retaliate — and why Iran would have risked such a confrontation.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © Christopher Smith for The New York Times Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused Iran of being behind “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply”

Mr. Trump’s threat echoed one he made in June after Iran shot down an American surveillance drone. He said then that the military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran.

He said he called off the strike with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack, which he said would have been disproportionate.

Administration officials said on Sunday they would seek to declassify more intelligence to buttress their case against Iran in the coming days. The satellite photographs released on Sunday did not appear as clear cut as officials suggested, with some appearing to show damage on the western side of the facilities, not from the direction of Iran or Iraq.

Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit'

Saudi attack: Iran denies involvement, rips US 'maximum deceit' Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels said they launched drones that struck the Saudi Arabian oil installations Saturday, disrupting crude oil output.

A military spokesman said the patrol boat was an Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel.CreditCredit [More: “ Iran did do it,” President Trump said in an interview Friday.] Senior American officials had Iranian officials on Thursday suggested the new attacks might be the product of an elaborate

Says ; Trump Hints . at Military Action . Published Sept. 15, 2019. The Trump administration intensified its focus on Iran Sunday. as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and

American officials said that more than 17 weapons were directed at the Saudi facilities, but not all reached their targets. Forensic analyses of the recovered weapons could answer questions about what they were, who manufactured them and who launched them.

Iran forcefully rejected Mr. Pompeo’s accusation on Sunday, with the foreign minister dismissing it as “max deceit.” The office of the Iraqi prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, also rejected any suggestion that Iranian operatives carried out the attack from Iraqi territory, saying Iraq would act firmly if its territory were used to attack other countries.

If Iran, or one of its proxies in Iraq or Yemen, carried out the attacks, it would fit into a strategy Iran has followed for months in its escalating confrontation with the Trump administration.

Squeezed by sweeping American sanctions on its oil sales, Iran has sought to inflict a similar pain on its adversaries — threatening the ability of Saudi Arabia and other American allies in the Persian Gulf to sell oil and holding out the possibility of driving up international oil prices in the months before President Trump seeks re-election.

Trump Says Iran Appears Responsible for Saudi Attack but That He Wants to Avoid War

Trump Says Iran Appears Responsible for Saudi Attack but That He Wants to Avoid War President Trump said Monday that Iran appeared to be responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. 

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © U.S. Government/DigitalGlobe, via Associated Press A satellite image released by the American government of an oil-processing facility in Abqaiq. Officials said it shows that the attack came from the north or northwest, consistent with an attack from Iran or Iraq, however this photo appears to show damage on the western side of the tanks. “Iran wants to show that instead of a win-lose contest, Iran can turn this into a lose-lose dynamic for everyone,” said Ali Vaez, head of the Iran Project at the International Crisis Group.

Yet Iran has stopped short of carrying out the kind of direct, open attack on United States allies that might trigger a military response, preferring to let regional allies do the work or at least share the blame.

“Plausible deniability is a trademark of Iran’s pushback strategy,” Mr. Vaez said.

The combination of military pressure and deniability also fits with a strategy of increasing Iran’s bargaining power before possible talks at the United Nations this month.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © ASSOCIATED PRESS This image provided on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, by the U.S. government and DigitalGlobe and annotated by the source, shows damage to the infrastructure at Saudi Aramco's Abaqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq, Saudi Arabia. The drone attack Saturday on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels of the kingdom's crude oil production per day, equivalent to more than 5% of the world's daily supply. (U.S. government/Digital Globe via AP)

President Emanuel Macron of France has said he hopes the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, which opens Tuesday, will be an opportunity for de-escalation between the United States and Iran. The recent hostilities began when the Trump administration withdrew last year from an agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program and then this year imposed sweeping sanctions to try to force Iran into a more restrictive covenant.

Iran warns US of response to any action over Saudi attack

Iran warns US of response to any action over Saudi attack TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran warned the U.S. that any action taken against it following an attack on Saudi oil installations will "immediately" be met with a response from Tehran.

Several other world powers, including France, also signed the original agreement and still support it, and Mr. Macron has said he hopes to hold talks at the General Assembly about saving the agreement. Mr. Trump said this month that he was open to a possible meeting there with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

Even as Iranian diplomats denied any role in the attack, others close to Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were reveling in the damage at the Saudi oil facilities, which process the vast majority of the country’s crude output.

The Trump administration, said Naser Imani, a former member of the guard’s political bureau, should take it as a warning to the United States and its Persian Gulf partners.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action © ASSOCIATED PRESS Vice President Mike Pence leaves the White House, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, after a meeting in Washington. Senior U.S. officials, including the Vice President and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, were seen at the White House Sunday afternoon for a National Security Council meeting on a Saturday attack on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure that the U.S. has attributed to Iran. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“If a few Houthis can cause this extensive damage, imagine what Iran could do if it was forced into a military conflict,” he said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “Iran has proved in the past few months that it has the will to pull the trigger as well as the military power to do so.”

A military strategist with the Revolutionary Guards, speaking on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, also questioned whether the Houthis alone could have carried out such a complex and effective attack without Iranian help.

But whoever carried out the attack, the Iranian strategist said, the message to the West and its regional allies was the same. If the United States strikes Iran, “the flames of war in the Persian Gulf will burn you all,” he said.

Pompeo inadvertently admitted the Iran crisis is a 'direct result' of Trump’s actions

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A senior commander for the Revolutionary Guards insisted that the country was ready for “full-fledged” war, the semiofficial Tasnim news agency reported, according to Reuters.

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action Foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation OIC meet in the Saudi capital Riyadh on September 15, 2019. - OIC ministers condemned a drone attack against Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, a statement said today, a day after the strike which the US has blamed on Iran. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

“Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000 kilometers around Iran are within the range of our missiles,” said Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ air force.

How the Trump administration responds remains to be seen. Breaking with a pattern under both Democratic and Republican presidents, the Trump administration has said that it intends to hold Iran fully responsible for any attacks carried out by the Houthis or other regional allies that the administration deems Iranian proxies.

Previous administrations have said that Iran was arming and training allied groups such as the Lebanese militia Hezbollah and Shiite militias in Syria or Iraq to extend its regional influence. Yet in the past, the United States has generally declined to retaliate against Iran militarily even when those groups have attacked the American military, as Iranian-backed Shiite militias did during American occupation of Iraq.

Gallery: Most powerful military nations of 2019 (Picture Services)

Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action
Saudi Oil Attack Photos Implicate Iran, U.S. Says; Trump Hints at Military Action

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Stanley Reed, Falih Hassan and Michael Wolgelenter contributed reporting.

Pompeo inadvertently admitted the Iran crisis is a 'direct result' of Trump’s actions.
"There is a direct line you can draw from Trump's violation of the Iran deal and the risk of conflict today," one former US official told Insider.

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