Should we chalk it up to coincidence theory that just days after Trump gives John Bolton the boot as his National Security Adviser, Iran is blamed for an attack on a Saudi oil facility, forcing Washington to forego any hope of peace with Tehran?
One day before Bolton’s abrupt departure from the White House, Trump had reportedly discussed with his security advisers the possibility of easing sanctions on Tehran in an effort to create the “right conditions” for a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations later this month.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump told reporters last week. “I do believe they’d like to make a deal.”
Now we may never know how things may have turned out because one week later that comment looks like a page torn from ancient history.
On Saturday, Yemen Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for sophisticated drone attacks on the Saudi Aramco oil factory, which is situated deep inside the country, more than 1,000 kilometers away from the Yemen border. If the claims are true, it would mark a serious turning point in the four-year military ‘intervention’, which has seen US- and British-backed Saudi forces take a heavy-handed approach to extricating the rebels from the capital, Sanaa.
Yemeni military spokesman Yahya Sari said the attack involved an “accurate intelligence operation” that was assisted by “honorable and free” men working inside of the Kingdom. That televised confession, however, wasn’t going to stop the United States and its regional allies from believing what they wanted to believe, which was that Iran was solely responsible for the incident.
Yahya Sari’: “10 UAVs Targeted the Aramco’s Refineries in Buqayq and Khurais”
He said: This operation took place after accurate intelligence operation with help of honorable and free mans within the Kingdom.
— IWN (@A7_Mirza) September 14, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose pugilistic presence in the Trump administration makes Bolton’s absence seem almost imperceptible, proclaimed in a tweet that Iran is responsible for launching “an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.”
Pompeo went on to say there was “no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,” while never proving evidence the attack originated from Iran either.