Will this become the tipping point for yet another conflict in the Middle East?

US-Iran Strait of Hormuz Stand-off- Critical Update: Reporting further on our subject series, after unilaterally abandoning the 2015 JCPOA (P5+1)/ nuclear deal, strangling Iran with crippling sanctions last year, assembling its entire Central command fleet in Persian Gulf, blaming of sabotage activities on vessels near UAE on Iran in May 2019, and capturing an Iranian supertanker, US has blamed on Iran yesterday, a Houthi’s drone attack from Yemen on a two Saudi oil facilities.

Pompeo has blamed Iran directly for the drone attack on Saudi oil facilities, and Senator Lindsey Graham, a US warhawk has urged US to strike against Iran. So Washington continues to push an anti-Iranian agenda, in a region which is already volatile due to two nuclear armed states India and Pakistan breathing down each others neck in Kashmir, Afghan peace process is once again in cold storage since Trump’s tweet calling off the dialogue unilaterally so close to the solution, China locked into a desperate trade war with USA, Saudis fighting the civil war of Yemen and welcoming rockets in their main land, and Israel once again threatening the sovereignty of Jordan valley.

Riyadh has denounced the drone strike as a “terrorist attack” but did not immediately name a perpetrator. Houthis claimed responsibility for the Saturday morning assault, which resulted in massive blazes at the refinery in the city of Abqaiq in the kingdom’s oil-rich Eastern Province and another facility at the vast Khurais oil field, around 150km (93 miles) from Riyadh.

US President Donald Trump has already phoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and offered help to the Kingdom in ensuring its security. He also said that the attack on the Saudi oil facilities could be detrimental to the American and the global economy.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said, though, that the attack is unlikely to affect the global oil markets as they are “well supplied with ample commercial stocks.” Yet, it also said it is closely monitoring the situation and is in contact with the Saudis and “major producer and consumer nations.” The IEA statement came amid media reports that the attack forced Riyadh to cut oil production by as much as 5 million barrels a day, which is equivalent to roughly half of its total oil output and about five percent of the global oil supply.

The Saturday attack has become the most successful strike the Houthis have launched against the Saudis, who have been leading a bombing campaign in Yemen since it intervened in the nation’s civil war in 2015.

Tehran has dismissed all US allegations as “unacceptable” and “baseless”, however, on the other hand Rouhani has said that Iran is ready to give a befitting response if USA wants to pursue warmongering. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard warns it is ready to respond saying its missiles could hit US bases and ships within 2,000km, naming the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and al-Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates as immediate targets, as well as navy ships in the Gulf and the Arabian Sea.

Analysis by our Senior Editor MTM based on background information and fresh updates appearing in RT and Al-Jazeera

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