Pentagon readying a public show of evidence in Saudi attacks

By Tony Capaccio on 9/17/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – The Pentagon is preparing a report on who was responsible for the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities and intends to make it public within 48 hours, a U.S. defense official said.

The official couldn’t confirm or deny a CBS News report that the U.S. has identified locations in southern Iran from which it believes more than 20 drones and cruise missiles were launched.

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Saudi Arabia says Iranian weapons were used to attack oil facilities

By Vivian Nereim, Abbas Al Lawati and Bill Faries on 9/16/2019

RIYADH (Bloomberg) – Saudi Arabia said preliminary findings show Iranian weapons were used in the attack on one of its key oil installations, but stopped short of directly blaming the Islamic Republic for the strikes that cut its crude output by half and rattled oil markets.

Ongoing investigations of “debris and wreckage” show “it belongs to the Iranian regime,” Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, told reporters in Riyadh on Monday. He said initial findings suggest the attack was not launched from Yemen, contradicting claims by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that they carried out the attack using a swarm of long-range drones with more sophisticated engines.

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Trump faces tough choices after blaming Iran for Saudi oil attack

By Jordan Fabian, Nick Wadhams, David Wainer and Glen Carey on 9/15/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – The Trump administration sought to offer new evidence to back its claim that Iran conducted the attack on major Saudi Arabian oil facilities, saying the munitions used in the strikes were well beyond the capabilities of the Houthi rebels who claimed responsibility.

The evidence put forward by several administration officials on Sunday – a day after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said unequivocally in a tweet that Iran was to blame – suggested that the administration was sensitive to skepticism about its assertions as well as concern that it may be trying to provoke a conflict with the regime in Tehran.

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U.S. says weapons in Saudi oilfield attack were beyond Houthi capability

By Nick Wadhams on 9/15/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – There’s no doubt Iran was behind attacks on a key oil facility in Saudi Arabia, two senior U.S. administration officials said, citing evidence that the location and weapons used were beyond the capability of Houthi rebels in Yemen who claimed responsibility.

The officials, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations, said evidence suggests that cruise missiles were used in Saturday’s attacks, and that one of the locations hit — the world’s biggest crude-processing facility in Abqaiq — was beyond the range of the rebels’ known armaments.

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Industry awaits Saudi Arabia’s move after drone attack on infrastructure

By Julian Lee on 9/14/2019

LONDON (Bloomberg) – Middle East geopolitics have come back with a vengeance to hit the oil market. What everybody feared has happened. An attack has penetrated the defenses of Saudi Arabia’s massive Abqaiq oil processing facility, the heart of the kingdom’s oil production and export infrastructure, causing an unknown amount of damage. Crude prices will react and emergency stockpiles will be tapped.

U.S. adds to Iran sanctions as French seek to restart oil sales

By Nick Wadhams and Saleha Mohsin on 9/4/2019

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) – The U.S. placed new sanctions on Iran, and a top American official signaled more measures are coming while deflecting questions about French diplomatic efforts meant to help Tehran restart oil sales.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special envoy for Iran, said Wednesday that the U.S. will “continue to drive up the costs” for Tehran’s efforts to develop ballistic missiles and take other actions soon after the Treasury Department imposed new restrictions on a shipping network controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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U.S. threatens sanctions over Iran tanker after court ruling

By Jonathan Browning, Alex Longley and Nick Wadhams on 8/16/2019

GIBRALTAR (Bloomberg) –The U.S. is disappointed with the UK after a Gibraltar court allowed the release of an Iranian tanker, and threatened sanctions against ports, banks and anyone else who does business with the ship or its crew, two administration officials said.

U.S. DOJ seeks to seize Iranian tanker held in Gibraltar

By Jonathan Browning on 8/15/2019

LONDON (Bloomberg) – The U.S. is seeking to block authorities in Gibraltar from releasing the supertanker Grace 1, which was seized last month on suspicion of hauling Iranian crude oil to Syria in violation of European sanctions.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed the last-minute request in a local court Wednesday night, a lawyer for the Gibraltar attorney general said during a court hearing in the U.K. offshore territory on Thursday. The Gibraltar government had intended to release the ship, the lawyer said.

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