Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 18
By Azer Ahmadbayli – Trend:
Yesterday, Pentagon chief Mark Esper tweeted that the US together with partners are elaborating a response to drone attacks on the Saudi oil facilities.
"The United States military, with our interagency team, is working with our partners to address this unprecedented attack and defend the international rules-based order that is being undermined by Iran," he said.
There is constant uncertainty around Iran and its “malign” activities. Tehran is accused of clandestine development of nuclear weapons, murders of representatives of the Iranian opposition in Europe, attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf... but all of those accusations have been left without any convincing proof.
What does that mean?
When someone begins to play outside of the rules and such actions threaten the entire international community, the latter, as a rule, unites to elaborate a joint response and take punitive measures. That happened in Iraq in 1991, Afghanistan after 9/11, and Yugoslavia in 1995 and 1999.
Why is the international community not punishing Iran? Maybe, because there's no good reason?
The latest incident - a strike on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities – is also ascribed to Iran.
The international community needs clear and precise answers, first and foremost, about who struck the Saudi facilities and from where. We again read vague calculations that the Houthis could not strike with such surgical precision, and that the drones may have come from somewhere in the North-East, and not from Yemen.
Even President Trump says he has little doubt that the attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure facilities were orchestrated by Iran, but there is no clear evidence.
Some could point a finger to suggestions put forward by a member of the Iranian Parliament, Hedayatollah Khademi, made in May this year. Back then, he said that in order to fight the US sanctions, as well as the intentions of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to substitute volumes of Iranian oil, it is necessary to consider how to disorder or obstruct the economic security and oil production of the two countries. In this case, he said, it would be possible to hope for the continuation of the sale of [Iranian] oil.
But this was only the opinion of one of the Iranian lawmakers, albeit exemplary.
The idea of “Iran’s hand” in hitting Saudi oil facilities looks very attractive and credible for many, but without hard evidence put on the table... it costs nothing.
According to the recent US media reports, the US intelligence has established that the strikes were carried out from the South of Iran. If this is the case, and if the US wants to win over the entire world community, Washington should not share intelligence information only with Saudi Arabia, but make it public.
This is the only way the alleged punitive action will be justified. Otherwise it will look just like kangaroo court.