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Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?

Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Following the Houthi attack on Saturday on Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil processing facility, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an obvious and necessary point: Blame Iran.It is obvious because the Houthi rebels in Yemen lack the drones, missiles or expertise to attack infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. In 2018, a United Nations panel of experts on Yemen examined the debris of missiles fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into Saudi Arabia and concluded there was high probability the weapons were shipped in components from Iran. As one Hezbollah commander told two George Washington University analysts in 2016: “Who do you think fires Tochka missiles into Saudi Arabia? It’s not the Houthis in their sandals, it’s us.” Hezbollah, of course, is a subsidiary of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.Pompeo’s response is necessary because, historically, Iran pretends to seek peace as it makes war. This is why it sent Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to France last month to plead with the world’s great economic powers as it escalated its proxy war against Saudi Arabia. Iranian diplomacy depends on its adversaries treating the aggression of its proxies as distinct from its statecraft.What is surprising is that Pompeo’s remarks have already drawn fire from leading Democrats. Even Senator Chris Murphy’s more nuanced view (or at least as much nuance as is possible in a tweet) gets the big picture wrong — and it’s worth dwelling on why.Murphy starts by lamenting the secretary’s “irresponsible simplification” of “Houthis=Iran.” He is smart enough to acknowledge that Iran “is backing the Houthis and has been a bad actor.” He then strikes a note of naivete. “The Saudis and Houthis are at war,” he tweeted. “The Saudis attack the Houthis and the Houthis attack back.”This kind of neutralism is regrettable for a few reasons. To start, the sheer scale and devastation of Saturday’s attack (the Saudis estimate that half of their oil production has been taken out) counts as an escalation. The effects are not limited to Yemen or the Persian Gulf. The world economy will suffer.And while Murphy is correct to criticize Saudi brutality, as he has in the past, the two sides in this regional conflict are not equivalent. Iran is a revisionist power, challenging the status quo throughout the Levant and the Gulf. The U.S. and its allies are trying to keep Iran in check. The U.S. has tried to pressure Saudi Arabia to de-escalate, whereas Iran is pushing the Houthis to dig in.Fortunately, Murphy and other Democrats will not decide how to respond to this latest aggression. This decision falls to President Donald Trump. And now is a good time to re-evaluate his recent push to negotiate with Iran. The president could start by reaffirming Pompeo’s 12 conditions for sanctions relief for Iran. Last month, Trump pared them down to three, narrowly related to its nuclear program. Indeed, the Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia shows just how important it is that any future deal commit the Iranian regime to ending its adventures in the Middle East.Trump also now needs to reconsider military options to deter future escalations. As I have reported, U.S. intelligence agencies have mapped the precise locations of Iranian bases and commanders in Yemen and the Middle East. If Trump wants to respond militarily without attacking Iranian territory, he has many targets outside the country.If Trump continues to pursue negotiations with Iran’s regime, he will be inviting more attacks on America’s allies. This is exactly the strategy — and the consequences — followed and paid by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in his second term. During and after the negotiations for the nuclear deal, Iran armed and trained its proxies in Syria and later in Yemen. The Middle East is now paying for these mistakes. Trump would be a fool to repeat them.To contact the author of this story: Eli Lake at elake1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Eli Lake is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering national security and foreign policy. He was the senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast and covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 1:00 PM

Catholic priest jailed for abusing altar boy 27 years after fleeing to Morocco

Catholic priest jailed for abusing altar boy 27 years after fleeing to MoroccoA former Roman Catholic priest who fled to Morocco after it was discovered he had sexually abused a child in the US has been sentenced to 30 years in prison almost three decades on from his crime.Former Air Force chaplain and colonel Arthur Perrault was found guilty of sexually abusing an altar boy in New Mexico in the early 1990s.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 6:35 PM

Scores of tigers rescued from infamous Thai temple have died: media

Scores of tigers rescued from infamous Thai temple have died: mediaMore than half of the tigers that Thai authorities confiscated in 2016 from an infamous Tiger Temple tourist attraction have died from a viral disease because their immune systems were weakened by inbreeding, media reported. The Buddhist temple west of Bangkok was a tourist destination where visitors took selfies with tigers and bottle-fed cubs until authorities removed its nearly 150 tigers in 2016 in response to global pressure over wildlife trafficking.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 4:47 AM

Video shows a Model 3 automatically apply the brakes to avoid hitting a cop who ran a red light

Video shows a Model 3 automatically apply the brakes to avoid hitting a cop who ran a red lightTesla's automated emergency braking (AEB) system, which was first introduced in 2017, has improved markedly in a relatively short amount of time. Just a few weeks ago, for example, Tesla demonstrated its next-gen AEB system which can more ably apply the brakes when a pedestrian or cyclist is detected. With that said, we recently stumbled across a new video which shows a Tesla Model 3 abruptly hit the brakes when a police officer on a motorcycle runs a red light and turns left into oncoming traffic. The officer was presumably chasing someone but his sirens were off at the time. As you can see in the video below, the Model 3 owner begins to accelerate at a green light and doesn't see the police officer swooping in from the right-hand side. Luckily, the Model 3 detected the officer and swiftly applied the brakes. https://youtu.be/SZdRTVfRi48 Describing the incident, the Model 3 owner posted the following on his YouTube channel. > Happened this morning; I was rolling about my way when the light turns green, and out of nowhere a cop without their audio on for their sirens runs a red light. If not for Tesla's emergency stop safety features this would not have been a good day. Thank you Tesla and ElonMusk for making the Model3 the safest car ever or I might've scarred myself for life with a horrible accident.Another angle of the incident can be seen below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3D3pzSWVjc&t=46s Of course, this is hardly the first time we've seen a Tesla take evasive action and avoid a potentially serious collision. In the video below, a Tesla that was rear ended quickly swerves to the left to avoid the car directly ahead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=21&v=QVdTAwU07Jc




POSTED SEPTEMBER 13, 2019 11:07 PM

Teachers in Chicago inch closer to possible strike

Teachers in Chicago inch closer to possible strikeTeachers in the nation's third-largest school district are inching closer to a strike that could happen as early as next month. After rejecting the district's latest offer, Chicago educators are back at the bargaining table negotiating issues including pay, staffing shortages and class size. Chicago's last major teachers strike was seven years ago, but the tone, issues and financial backdrop this time around are totally different.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 9:43 AM

White House Confirms Key Al Qaida Figure Hamza Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Operation

White House Confirms Key Al Qaida Figure Hamza Bin Laden Killed in U.S. OperationThe White House announced that Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 4:25 PM

The Future of Design: Transportation

The Future of Design: Transportation




POSTED SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 4:26 PM

African leaders laud Mugabe at state funeral in divided Zimbabwe

African leaders laud Mugabe at state funeral in divided ZimbabweZimbabwe gave former president Robert Mugabe a state funeral on Saturday with African leaders paying tribute to a man lauded as a liberation hero but whose 37-year rule was defined by repression and economic turmoil. Mugabe, who died in Singapore last week aged 95, left Zimbabwe deeply torn over his legacy as the country still struggles with high inflation and shortages of goods after decades of crisis. Mugabe's casket, draped in the green, black, gold and red Zimbabwe flag, was marched slowly into Harare's national stadium as a military band played and crowds chanted and drummed, though less than half of the 60,000 seats appeared taken.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 11:22 AM

WTO allows U.S. to hit EU with tariffs over Airbus subsidies

WTO allows U.S. to hit EU with tariffs over Airbus subsidiesThe ruling ends a decades-long dispute.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 14, 2019 9:51 AM

Democrats should think like criminal prosecutors as they investigate Trump impeachment

Democrats should think like criminal prosecutors as they investigate Trump impeachmentWill impeaching Donald Trump protect the public, deter criminal behavior and promote respect for the rule of law? If so, Democrats have a duty to act.




POSTED SEPTEMBER 15, 2019 5:32 PM

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