According to a post on the blog of the international Arabic news station Al Arabiya on Thursday, a Telegram account linked to Iran had posted a video reportedly depicting a mock attack on Saudi Arabia.
As per Al Arabiya, the video depicts a simulated drone strike on Saudi Aramco’s oil installations and was released by a Telegram channel connected with the IRGC that has over 350,000 users.
On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Saudi Arabia has informed Washington of intelligence indicating that the Kingdom was about to be attacked by Iran. These allegations have been refuted by Iran, which called reports of Iranian threats to Saudi Arabia “baseless accusations.”
However, this video makes it seem a little more real. Of course, this wouldn’t be the first instance of Saudi oil being attacked.
Three years ago, a drone strike by Yemen’s Houthis, who are backed by Iran, was launched against Aramco oil facilities in Eastern Saudi Arabia. This attack reduced Saudi oil output in half and removed almost 5% of the world’s supply from the market. Given that Russia has been utilizing Iranian drones in Ukraine, the claims give the Russian conflict on that country a novel perspective. This comes following a CNN article that reported Iran was preparing to transfer Russia 1,000 more weapons, including more surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and attack drones.
The new alleged intelligence of a potential Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities comes as the U.S. is in the middle of a heated debate about defense provisions for Saudi Arabia. Democrats demanded the halting of the Patriot missile supplies to Saudi Arabia earlier in October as the bilateral relationship deteriorated.
Democratic congressman from California Ro Khanna, a strong proponent of a weapons freeze, said he thought Congress would take action to “at the very least” suspend the sale of Patriot missiles to the kingdom and likely pause other defense programs.
While physically transferring existing weapons systems in Saudi Arabia to Ukraine would not be particularly complicated logistically, experts said it could risk accusations that the Biden administration was escalating its support for Ukraine beyond levels that it considered appropriate because the systems might require on-the-ground US personnel for support.
If an Iran attack does happen, you can be sure that moving weapon systems away from a semi-ally right after they were attacked, is not likely. Even less so as the proposition would most likely die in debate within the White House and Congress.
Iran releases threatening footage of attacks on Saudi oil facilities using Shahed-136 drones
— Russian Market (@runews) November 2, 2022