Iran attacked Saudi Arabian oil facilities on September 14, 2019. It was an attack not only against a sovereign state but against the global economy as well. The evidence pointed to Iran, despite unsubstantiated claims of responsibility by Houthi rebels in Yemen. Now, a report from the United Nations Security Council’s Yemen Panel of Experts confirms the truth that the Houthis could not have launched such an attack, reinforcing the conclusion of the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom that Iran bears responsibility.
Since its September attack, Iran has continued its program of terrorism, nuclear extortion, and destabilizing behavior. Iranian-backed militias have launched 12 rocket attacks against Iraqi military facilities hosting U.S. service members and incited the December 31 assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad.
With the Panel of Experts’ conclusions, the Security Council now has less than 36 weeks until the October expiration of the UN arms embargo to renew sanctions forbidding the sale of certain weapons systems to Iran. Iran’s intention to use its short-range missiles is clear, as Saudi oil-field workers and their families can attest. How it might use more powerful weapons – should sanctions be lifted – is a matter of even more vital concern for the international community.
Iran will continue to threaten regional peace and security absent effective action to counter its aggressive behavior, and the United States will accordingly work vigorously with other members of the United Nations to bring Iran into a place of peaceful and productive relations with its neighbors.
The report of the UN Security Council’s Yemen Panel of Experts can be found here: https://undocs.org/s/2020/70.