“Saturday’s attack on Abqaiq, home to one of the most important petroleum processing facilities in Saudi Arabia, threatens to dramatically escalate tensions in the Persian Gulf. While the Saudis have not yet attributed blame, they are likely to do so soon — and to react accordingly. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared what most observers suspect: The Iranians might not have directly orchestrated the attacks but are almost certainly behind them.

“If true, Iran is continuing its response to the administration’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign with its own version of maximum pressure. The Iranians have long declared that if they cannot export their oil, others won’t be able to do so either. In May, just weeks after President Trump decided to add to existing sanctions with the aim of reducing Tehran’s oil exports to zero, the Iranians began their ‘deniable’ assault on oil supplies out of the area, twice attacking oil tankers and using proxies in Yemen and Iraq to attack Saudi oil facilities…”

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