Iranian cruise missiles and drones used in Saudi oil facilities, US officials say

FOX News

Tehran says it is now ready now to fight a full-fledged war with the U.S.; Benjamin Hall reports from Jerusalem. It has been more than three days since Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure was crippled and, as the investigation continues, fingers are pointing toward Iran as not only the perpetrator, but also the launch territory. U.S. officials told Fox News on Tuesday that Iranian cruise missiles and drones were both used in the attack on the two Saudi Arabian oil facilities, and that they were fired from inside southwest Iran. The Saudi Arabian oil facilities attacked from Iran are located across the Persian Gulf, an area where Saudi forces had largely not protected with air defense systems, the official said. Not all the Iran weapons hit their target in Saudi Arabia.


Pompeo accuses Iran of 'unprecedented attack' after drones hit Saudi oil facilities

FOX News

The attack comes after Iran exceeded their enriched uranium stockpile limit in the nuclear deal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the international community to join him Saturday in condemning Iran for drone attacks on two Saudi oil facilities, which he described as "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply." "Tehran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia while [President Hassan] Rouhani and [Foreign Minister Mohammad] Zarif pretend to engage in diplomacy," Pompeo tweeted, referring to the nation's president and foreign affairs minister. There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen." Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack hours before Pompeo's tweet. The world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field were impacted, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies. "The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression," Pompeo concluded. According to multiple news reports that cited unidentified sources, the drone attacks affected up to half of the supplies from the world's largest exporter of oil, though the output should be restored within days. It remained unclear if anyone was injured at the Abqaiq oil processing facility and the Khurais oil field. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, denounced Pompeo's description of the attack, calling it an "irresponsible simplification." "The Saudis and Houthis are at war.


Saudi Arabia pushes Palestinians to consider nascent U.S. peace plan

The Japan Times

BEIRUT/RIYADH/AMMAN – Saudi Arabia pulled no punches when it condemned President Donald Trump's move to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But Palestinian officials say Riyadh has also been working for weeks behind the scenes to press them to support a nascent U.S. peace plan.


Trump strains to balance diplomacy and military threat to Iran

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration tried to balance diplomacy with fresh talk of military action Tuesday in response to the fiery missile and drone attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry -- a strike marking the most explosive consequence yet of the "maximum pressure" U.S. economic campaign against Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was headed to Jiddah in Saudi Arabia to discuss possible responses to what U.S. officials believe was an attack coming from Iranian soil. President Donald Trump said he'd "prefer not" to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at next week's U.N. session but "I never rule anything out." Iran continued to deny involvement in last weekend's attack on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant and its Khurais oil field, a strike that interrupted the equivalent of about 5 percent of the world's daily supply. Saudi Arabia's energy minister said Tuesday that more than half of the country's daily crude oil production that was knocked out by the attack had been recovered and production capacity at the targeted plants would be fully restored by the end of the month.


Jared Kushner's $50 billion 'peace to prosperity' plan faces broad Arab rejection

The Japan Times

RIYADH/AMMAN/CAIRO/WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump's economic vision as part of the wider plan to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been met with contempt, repudiation and exasperation in the Arab world, even as some in the Persian Gulf called for it to be given a chance. The $50 billion "peace to prosperity" plan, set to be presented by Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, at a conference in Bahrain this week, envisions a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies. The White House on Saturday outlined the plan, which includes 179 infrastructure and business projects and would fund a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza Strip. More than half of the $50 billion would be spent in the economically troubled Palestinian territories over 10 years; the rest would be split among Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Some of the projects would be in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, where investments could benefit Palestinians living in the adjacent Gaza Strip, a crowded and impoverished coastal enclave.