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The attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure that took off 5.7 million bpd from global oil production were launched from southwestern Iran, according to a U.S. government official.
A team of U.S. security experts who traveled to Saudi Arabia to examine the wreckage of the drones and cruise missiles fired against Aramco’s Khurais field and the Abqaiq processing facility determined they were manufactured in Iran, a senior Washington official told CBS.
Besides, the experts managed to trace the trajectory of the missiles backwards in time, determining they were shot from Iran, the CBS source said.
Meanwhile, CNN reports that the White House had ordered the Pentagon to plan several alternatives for a response to the Saudi attacks. However, President Trump warned that steps were not to be taken before Riyadh decided how to respond to the attacks.
"No knee jerk reactions to this - it's very systematic - what happens with patience is it prevents stupid moves," an unnamed source familiar with the discussions told CNN. The source added that the U.S. administration was biding its time before it decided on its response with the net UNB General Assembly meeting in New York seen as a good moment to discuss the issue with other world leaders.
Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks and has done so emphatically.
Saudi Arabia, for its part, has yet to name a suspect. At a press conference yesterday, the Saudi Energy Minister, Abdulaziz bin Salman, told reporters "we do not know at this moment who caused the attacks on Aramco," adding that the government would identify who’s behind the attacks and bring them to justice.
This is interesting and somewhat surprising: on Monday, a spokesman for the Saudi-UAE coalition fighting the Iran-affiliated Houthis in Yemen said “The preliminary results show that the weapons are Iranian and we are currently working to determine the location ... The terrorist attack did not originate from Yemen as the Houthi militia claimed.”
This stops short of naming Iran as the party responsible for the attacks but clearly points the finger at it.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.