Iran Allegedly Bombs Saudi Oil Refinery, NBC Blames U.S. for Fanning Tensions

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Overnight, one of Saudi Arabia’s oil refineries (one of the largest was in the world) was the target of drone attacks that caused the county to shut down roughly five percent of the world’s oil output. According to the U.S., the evidence pointed to Iran. But, during NBC’s Sunday Today, the network showed whose side they stood on and defended the Iranians.

“Overnight, Iran denied that it was behind these attacks on the Saudi oil processing facilities, but the Trump administration insists that Iran is to blame,” decried NBC correspondent Hans Nichols. “With two of the world's largest oil installations in flames, the Trump administration is blaming Iran and fanning regional political tensions.”

Despite the fact that anchor Willie Geist admitted that the Houthi rebels in Yemen were backed by Iran, Nichols appeared to chide Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for not believing their claim of responsibility. “Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen have claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn strikes on two Saudi Aramco sites. But Pompeo isn’t buying it, saying: ‘There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen,’” he said.

A short time later, Nichols would add that “the U.S. has accused the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of lobbing crude missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia during their four-year war” and “the precision of these drone attacks suggesting a new level of military sophistication.” The dots were there, but Nichols just didn’t seem to want to connect them.

 

 

Even after former National Security Advisor John Bolton and the administration parted ways last week due to disagreements with the former’s hawkish worldview, Nichols tried to suggest President Trump wasn’t interested in peace:

Last week, Trump called off a peace summit with the Taliban after they claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an American soldier. Those negotiations over the war in Afghanistan are now dead and the prospect for separate talks with Iran may also be up in flames.

In reality, one the last disagreements Trump reportedly had with Bolton was about easing sanctions on Iran to get them to come to the negotiating table (A.K.A easing tensions not fanning them).

At one point during Nichols’ report, he bizarrely griped about Trump announcing the U.S. had killed Osama bin Laden’s son in the counterterrorism operation:

The escalating tensions coming on the same day that President Trump confirmed that this man Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden was dead.

“Killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region,” according to Mr. Trump. The announcement three days after the 18th anniversary of 9/11, does not say when Hamza was killed or why the President decided to disclose his death now.

This was the latest example of NBC proving themselves to be friends of America’s adversary.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
September 15, 2019
8:02:01 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: But let's begin this morning with the Trump administration responding, after rebels backed by Iran claimed responsibility for an attack on one of the world’s oil refineries in Saudi Arabia. The State Department is pointing the finger directly at Tehran. NBC’s Hans Nichols is at the White House for us. Hans, good morning.

HANS NICHOLS: Good morning, Willie. Overnight, Iran denied that it was behind these attacks on the Saudi oil processing facilities, but the Trump administration insists that Iran is to blame. Still, there are many questions about the attacks and how Saudi Arabia and the U.S. might respond.

[Cuts to video]

With two of the world's largest oil installations in flames, the Trump administration is blaming Iran and fanning regional political tensions. “Teheran is behind nearly 100 attacks on Saudi Arabia,” tweeted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen have claimed responsibility for the pre-dawn strikes on two Saudi Aramco sites. But Pompeo isn’t buying it, saying: “There is no evidence the attacks came from Yemen.”

With smoke visible from outer space, the fires so severe, that they shut down more than half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil output. 5.7 million barrels of oil a day, roughly five percent of the world's daily production, according to The Wall Street Journal.

President Trump offered his support for Saudi Arabia's self-defense in a phone call with Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The U.S. has accused the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of lobbing crude missiles from Yemen into Saudi Arabia during their four-year war. But the precision of these drone attacks suggesting a new level of military sophistication. The escalating tensions coming on the same day that President Trump confirmed that this man Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden was dead.

“Killed in a United States counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region,” according to Mr. Trump. The announcement three days after the 18th anniversary of 9/11, does not say when Hamza was killed or why the President decided to disclose his death now.

Last week, Trump called off a peace summit with the Taliban after they claimed responsibility for an attack that killed an American soldier. Those negotiations over the war in Afghanistan are now dead and the prospect for separate talks with Iran may also be up in flames.

[Cuts back to live]

As officials assess just how damaging these attacks were, there are concerns that it could cause a spike in oil and gasoline prices. Now, the U.S. Department of Energy said overnight, that they are prepared to open up the strategic petroleum oil reserves to offset any disruptions to the oil markets. Willie.

GEIST: Okay. Hans Nichols starting us off at the White House this morning. Hans, thank you.

NB Daily Foreign Policy Middle East Iran Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television NBC Today Video Hans Nichols Donald Trump Mike Pompeo

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