The Aramco incident: A new threat for the U.S.
Step by step, and after analyzing the exhaustion of the american troops kept in Afghanistan for so long, and the way reality evolves in the Middle East, another threat comes to surface, possibly from Iran as all evidence show, known to be for years a huge challenge for the U.S..
On September 14th a barrage of fast moving weapons hit Abqaiq, which is a town in the eastern Saudi desert and home to the world's largest oil-processing facility. Even though Iran denies involvement in this incident, and suspicions also included the Houthis in Yemen as possible perpetrators, the weapons used in this latest attack all seem to have been developed in Iran. The Houthis control all the northern part of Yemen and the capital Sana'a. Iran supllies the Houthis with advanced weapons, including drones and missiles, but still, it would have been difficult for them to be responsible for this attack without Iran's help.
On September 18th evidence shown by Saudi Arabia considering the wreckage of drones and missiles, Iran's definite involvement.
But all this evidence leads us to a very simple yet challenging conclusion. The fact that, Aramco and furthermore the world economy is only one of the casualties here. Another much more risky and decisive, is Saudi credibility as a trustworthy player and guardian of oil supply in the region.
Also U.S.A's standing as the ultimate guarantor of security in the region has been damaged.
Cumulatively, in the region of Middle East there is a Syria with Assad as a non-contolled by the west leader, who created a chaos in his country and caused huge waves of migration, Iran which has always been an enemy to the U.S. (at least for many years now), a Yemen controlled mostly by the Houthis, who are supported by Iran, exactly to the borders with Saudi Arabia, U.S.A,'s biggest oil supplier.
The scenery is extremely risky for the U.S., and it seems even more ground has been lost these past few days. Only after the strikes, there has been a loss of 5.7m barrels of oil per day. Amin Nasser, Aramco's chief executive "appears to be confident" about the fact that capacity will be fully restored by the end of the month. But those are just assumptions.
The truth is America struggles to come out as an energy independent player, but the path is long to fulfill an achievement as that, while it still imports 10m barrels a day per year, as last year's statistics showed.
The previous strikes of Iran were crucial, but this is the most crucial. It is considered to be the most serious attack on energy infrastructure in the Gulf region since Saddam Hussein's forces invaded Kuwait back in 1990.
It also shows the extent to which Iran has been developed by means of weapons of massive deterence. And it is also a response to Trump's "maximum pressure" method considering countries posessing weapons and nuclear powers except for those allied to the U.S., that "maximum pressure" will cause "maximum pressure" back and actually it nourishes it.
Iran proves step by step it is a countable player, ready to play dangerous games, still affecting the world economy and not yet causing massive destruction, but the West cannot be sure of the intentions. And that exactly is called war.
The Aramco incident, is a new challenge to U.S.A.'s controlling wishes and adds to other challenges such as the explosive scenery in the Middle East and the sanctions' war with China.
written by Themis Panagiotopoulou, PhD in Political Science