New report: Why did Iran attack a Saudi oil field?

Iran planned attack on Saudi oil field four months in advance, Reuters says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Fire at Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019.
Fire at Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14, 2019.

A new report by Reuters revealed previously unknown details about Iran's September attack on a Saudi oil field.

According to the report, Iranian officials - including from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps - began planning the attack four months before it occurred. Their plan? To punish the US for pulling out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), more popularly known as the "Iran deal."

Potential targets for the attack, which aimed to "teach them [Americans] a lesson," included US military bases in the area, a Saudi seaport, an airport, and other high-profile targets, Reuters reported. However, Iran in the end decided to avoid direct conflict with the US, choosing to target Saudi Arabia, a US ally.

When the idea to hit Saudi Aramco came up, it was approved by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - on condition that no civilians or Americans were harmed. Details of the attack were "thoroughly discussed" in at least five meetings which took place in a secure location in Tehran, an official told Reuters.

The goal was to display Iran's military prowess and capabilities.

Attending some of the meetings were Khamenei himself, as well as his top military adviser and a deputy of Revolutionary Guards leader Qasem Soleimani.

However, Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran's mission to the United Nations in New York, rejected the reports, claiming the rogue power played no part in the strike on Saudi Arabia and that Khamenei did not authorize such an attack. "No, no, no, no, no, and no," he emphasized.

Though US and Saudi officials blamed the attack on Iran, Yemeni Houthi rebels had officially claimed responsibility for it. However, Iran later claimed that the attack was "a warning."

Investigations have shown that the missiles and drones which conducted the attack were launched from the Ahvaz air base in southwest Iran. Each of these took a different route to the site, in an attempt to hide Iran's involvement.

Reuters was unable to confirm the reports with Iranian leadership, and both a Revolutionary Guards spokesman and Saudi Arabia's communications office declined comment, as did the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon. A senior Trump official blamed Iran's internal problems on the country's "behavior and decades-long history of destructive attacks and support for terrorism."