On September 14, 2019, two major oil facilities of Saudi Arabia’s state run oil company ARAMCO had to shut down operations following drone attacks. The closure of these facilities has resulted temporarily in a massive cut back in oil production.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared, without offering any proof, that Iran organized these attacks. Pompeo immediately visited Saudi Arabia, to coordinate on a possible military action against Iran. US President Donald Trump has announced further economic sanctions on Iran.
The Iranian government has denied that it had anything to do with the drone attacks on Saudi oil installations. It has condemned the announcement of further US sanctions. It has refused any offer of talks with the US, given the hostile attitude of the latter and the sanctions it has imposed against Iran. Iran has declared that it will give a fitting reply to all aggressors.
The drone attacks on Saudi oil installations have taken place at a time when the US has been organizing a series of provocations in the Persian Gulf region, to justify aggressive deployment of its armed forces in the region and a military invasion of Iran. These include planting of mines on Japanese and Russian oil tankers by unidentified forces. Immediately after every such incident, the US has blamed Iran. Iran has denied having any hand in these acts, while clearly stating that it will protect its territorial waters and airspace from any violation by hostile forces.
US imperialism has been working according to a plan to establish its complete domination over the oil rich West Asia and North Africa. Towards this end, it has unleashed wars of aggression and instigated sectarian civil wars in various countries of the region. It has deliberately incited hostilities amongst the countries of the region to further its plan. The destruction of Iraq and Libya, the civil wars raging in Syria and Yemen, are the direct fallout of the implementation of this US strategy.
According to some news reports from the international monopoly-controlled media, “Hauthi rebels” from Yemen have allegedly claimed responsibility for these attacks. The US and Saudi Arabia have been trying to establish a regime in Yemen that would be subservient to them. They have imposed a bloody civil war on Yemen for the past four years. The Saudi government, with the backing of US, has been carrying out a barbaric economic blockade of that country, and destroyed its towns and villages through aerial bombing and missile strikes. Over a lakh men, women and children have died in this war. The US and Saudi Arabia routinely paint Yemenese forces opposing them as “Iran backed rebels”.
Following the attack on Saudi oil installations, the US secretary of State has declared that Yemeni forces do not have the capacity to launch such attacks and has asserted that Iran is responsible. This clearly shows that the US is working according to a script, with the aim of justifying encirclement of and military aggression on Iran. The US sees the Iranian people and their government as the major stumbling block in fulfilling its strategy in West Asia. It is constantly trying to isolate Iran. Even while Saudi Arabia has declared it is still investigating the attacks, the US has once again decided to blame Iran.
Control of energy resources is an important part of US strategy for world domination. In recent years, the US has become a major exporter of oil and gas. It has imposed unilateral sanctions against oil producing countries like Iran, Russia and Venezuela which not only hurt the economies of these countries, but also the economies of oil importing countries. Immediately following the attacks on Saudi oil installations, US President Trump offered US oil and gas as substitute for Saudi oil, to various oil importing countries including India. There is contention and collusion amongst the major oil exporting countries, including between the US and Saudi Arabia. It would be in the interests of US that Saudi Arabia and Iran destroy each other and their oil wealth, in order that US may capture a greater share of the global oil market.
The US has been egging on the aspirations of the Saudi ruling clique to be the dominant power in West Asia. Towards this end, it supported the Saudi war against Yemen. It has been actively encouraging Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to launch a war against Iran for some time. The Saudi rulers have fully supported the US economic blockade of Iran. At the same time, the rulers of Saudi Arabia know that in a war with Iran, their country will be in the frontline and will suffer enormously. It is reported that as recently as August, the rulers of Saudi Arabia conveyed to US President Trump their reluctance to go to war against Iran. Given this background, it cannot be ruled out that the attacks on the oil installations of Saudi Arabia might have been organized by the US itself, as a false flag operation, to provoke Saudi Arabia to go to war against Iran.
In his address to the UN General Assembly on September 25, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani condemned the sanctions imposed on his country as the “silent killing of a great nation … particularly women and children”. Iran “will never ever forget and forgive these crimes and these criminals”, he declared.
Rouhani warned that West Asia was on the “edge of collapse” and a “single blunder can fuel a big fire”. Calling on Saudi Arabia and other countries of the region to join Iran in putting an end to the brutal civil war in Yemen, he said “The security of Saudi Arabia will be guaranteed with the termination of aggression in Yemen, rather than by inviting foreigners.” Rouhani declared “The security of the region shall be provided when American troops pull out. Security shall not be supplied with American weapons and intervention”. Declaring that “America is not our neighbor”, he pointed out that when a house catches fire, neighbours must help each other. The Iranian President called upon the countries of the Persian Gulf region to join in the Coalition of Hope — the Hormuz Peace Endeavour to ensure energy security, freedom of navigation and free transfer of oil and other resources to and from the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and Strait of Hormuz.
A dangerous game is being played by the US in West Asia. It is trying to plunge the entire region into a bloody war to advance its strategic aims. The attempts by US imperialism to portray the Iranian people and their government as the source of terrorism must be exposed and condemned by all political forces which stand for the sovereignty of countries and for peace.