What Happened: The Pentagon has announced a plan to send additional troops and military equipment, primarily missile and air defense systems to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, AP reported Sept. 20.
Why It Matters: The nature of the deployments and recent statements from the United States suggest that it is not gearing up for an immediate military response against Iran. As long as the Islamic republic's oil exports remain under heavy U.S. sanctions, the risk of additional attacks on regional oil infrastructure will persist.
Background: Both the United States and Saudi Arabia have implicated Iran in the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities that took about 5.7 million barrels per day of global crude production offline. Earlier in the day, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Iran’s Central Bank.
- Q&A: Why Did Iran Attack Saudi Arabia? (Sept. 201, 2019)
- Short on Options, Iran Calls Trump's Bluff (Sept. 19, 2019)
- Saudi Oil Infrastructure Offers a Target-Rich Environment for Iran (Sept. 19, 2019)