Washington: US President Donald Trump warned of military action against Iran saying that ‘Although there is no concrete evidence, it is apparent that Iran has attacked the Saudi oil facilities. Therefore, the preparations for a counter-attack on Iran have been made.’ The US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper has also corroborated the President’s statement.
‘All of the options are open with the United States against Iran. I do not want to initiate a new conflict, but sometimes they are inevitable. The attack on Saudi was massive, and it is necessary to retaliate against the attack with a more significant response,’ President Trump said. Also, President Trump seems to justify the need for military action against Iran after discussions with the US Secretary of Defence, Mark Esper.
Mark Esper, the US Secretary of Defence, accused Iran of being responsible for the instability in the Middle East but avoided making a direct allegation on Iran for the Saudi oil attacks. However, US Secretary of Defence announced US support to Saudi saying, ‘The US military will assist its allies for protection against Iran’s blatant violation of international rules.’ Furthermore, Esper informed that he had discussed the matter with President Trump and the Pentagon officials.
The US Secretary of Defence also held talks with the Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister, Mohammed bin Salman as well as Iraqi Defence Minister Najah Al-Shammari. A few hours ago, President Trump had talks with Prince Mohammed bin Salman and announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to leave for Saudi soon.
Even Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had declared that his country was capable and ready for retaliation against the attacks on the oil facilities. On the other hand, amid the US warnings to initiate attacks on Iran, Tehran has threatened to sink the US and Israeli destroyers. Russia has voiced concerns over the developments in the Middle East. Sergei Naryshkin, Director of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), claimed that the possibility of military action had strengthened because of the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities although he appealed to resolve the situation through dialogue.
Meanwhile, Saudi oil production has been severely affected because of the attacks. Moreover, the US think tank, S&P Global Platts voiced concerns asking that Saudi oil production would drop by 3 million barrels per day for at least one month.