US Secretary of State Pompeo says of Iranians: “It’s not the case you can subcontract out devastation of 5% of world’s global energy supply and think you can absolve yourself from responsibility.”
Riyadh presents debris it says shows Tehran at least sponsored pre-dawn strikes, Houthis stage press call to substantiate their military capabilities.
Saudi Arabia has already restored 2mn barrels per day (bpd) of oil production from the 5.7mnbpd that were knocked out by last weekend’s drone and missile attack on its largest production facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais.
There’s some tough talk about as White House works out how to respond to weekend’s strikes, but hesitancy shown by key officials in both Riyadh and Washington shows the Iranians may have their foes firmly on the back foot.
A major attack on Saudi oil facilities has cut production by 5.7mn bpd, but the full effect will not be felt until existing reserves dry up.
The missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco facility in the east of the country on September 15 has become ensnared in a whodunit of confusion and speculation as accusations fly over who was really behind the rocket attack.
Critics may see his cautious approach as evidence of a vulnerability: an aversion to getting dragged into an unpopular Middle East war in the run-up to the 2020 US election.
The attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure could turn out to be the oil industry’s 9/11. Reacting to the news, JP Morgan said: “Clearly oil assets have been massively mispriced. The assumption that production facilities are secure is wrong."
Europe takes little oil from Middle East. It is heavily dependent on Russia for crude deliveries and can turn to Moscow to fill any gaps. The effect on the oil price, however, is a different matter.
Fraught situation as world waits on US to settle on a response.
Implies that US president is interested in a photo opportunity, but that Tehran is not. Quips that White House can use Photoshop.
US president hints he might support oil-backed letter of credit to get Iranians “over very rough patch” caused by American sanctions. Says his “gut” tells him his counterpart will want to meet “to get this situation straightened out”.
Zarif’s remarks come as Australia and Bahrain agree to back US-led maritime security mission off Iranian coast already supported by UK.