As has been the case since 1979, Iran continues to be the center of attention due to its aggression against its neighbors. With the massive attack against Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, US and Israeli intelligence is pointing to Iran as the culprit. Since deposing the Shah, Iran has been a rogue theocracy, attacking its neighbors, executing or imprisoning political opponents, supporting or outright committing terror attacks across the Middle East, building a massive military force, and are bent on producing nuclear weapons, which cannot be allowed. Despite being punished with sanction after sanction for its nuclear weapons ambition, Iran continues on its course of developing a nuclear capability. Without question, the global scourge that is Iran will have to be dealt with sooner or later. The longer the world waits, the more dangerous Iran becomes.

As I suggested in a 2015 Powdered Wig article, I recommend caution by President Trump. The wisest course of action by the US, in my opinion, is to allow the Saudis and Israelis to handle this. They are plenty capable. At most, the US should play a non-combat, support role with surveillance, intelligence, and logistical support.

My greatest fear is retaliation by Iran on Christians and Jews across the Middle East and on civilian targets in Europe and the US, where Iranian-backed terror cells are almost certainly standing by, awaiting orders to strike.

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By Michael Snyder

President Trump is using the phrase “locked and loaded” to describe our current stance toward Iran, and the big news networks appear to believe that some sort of U.S. military action could be imminent.  We just witnessed the worst attack on Saudi oil production facilities in history, and it would seem to be extremely unlikely that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia would allow this to pass with no response.  Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but as you will see below, U.S. officials have already completely rejected that explanation for a variety of reasons.  At this point, we are being told that the attacks probably originated either from Iranian-backed Shia rebels in southern Iraq or from Iran itself.  And if the U.S. strikes back by conducting airstrikes inside Iran, that could literally cause World War 3 to erupt.  We are so close to a major war breaking out, but most Americans are still not paying attention.

President Trump certainly sounds like he is ready to take military action.  On Sunday, he tweeted the following

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Is it just me, or does that make it sound like we will strike whoever the Saudis blame for the attack?

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That is potentially very dangerous, because the Saudis seriously hate the Iranians, and there are many in the Saudi government that would like nothing more than for the U.S. military to bomb the living daylights out of Iran.

And as CNN has noted, the “locked and loaded” language that Trump just used is very similar to the “cocked & loaded” language that he used when we came within minutes of bombing Iran back in June…

Trump’s tweet, which appeared to raise the specter of a US military response, served to ratchet up tensions in a region already on edge after Saturday’s audacious attack on the Saudi oil field.

Trump used similar language in June when he announced he had called off an attack on Iran just as the US was “cocked & loaded” to strike because he decided it would cause too many deaths for a proportionate response to Tehran’s downing of a US drone.

So what would a U.S. attack on Iran look like?

Well, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham has suggested hitting Iran’s oil refineries

US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the United States should consider an attack on Iran’s oil refineries in retaliation.

Senator Graham, a strong ally of President Trump, tweeted: “It is now time for U.S. to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries if they continue their provocations or increase nuclear enrichment.”

President Trump would probably like that because it is “proportional”, and if the attack is conducted at night the loss of life would likely be minimal.

But of course if the Iranians responded by hitting U.S. targets in the region, that could potentially set off a sequence of events that would inevitably lead to World War 3.

So let us hope it does not come to that.

As I mentioned above, Houthi rebels in Yemen actually took responsibility for the attacks on Saturday, but U.S. officials are skeptical of that explanation for a number of reasons.  The following comes from CNN

The official said 19 Saudi targets were struck in Saturday’s attack and argued that such an attack could not be carried out with 10 drones, which the Houthis claimed to have used.

“You can’t hit 19 targets with 10 drones like that,” the official said.

The official, drawing on commercial satellite imagery shared with CNN, also noted that “all the points of impact on Saudi facilities were on the northwest side of them, which is somewhat difficult to do from Yemen.”

Of course drones don’t have to fly in a straight line, and it would have been entirely possible for someone to maneuver them in such a way that they would have approached the facilities from a certain direction.

U.S. officials are also telling us that instead of drones, cruise missiles may have actually been used instead

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

In the end, we may never know the exact truth about where these attacks originated or what precise weapons were used.

The Iranians have completely denied responsibility, but if they are attacked they insist that they are prepared for a “full-fledged” war, and they are warning that all U.S. targets within 2,000 kilometers “are within the range of our missiles”

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps Aerospace Force, warned that US military bases were within range of Iranian missiles.

He told Tasnim news agency: ‘Everybody should know that all American bases and their aircraft carriers in a distance of up to 2,000km around Iran are within the range of our missiles.’

Yes, the Iranians have anti-ship missiles that are fully capable of sinking a U.S. aircraft carrier, and if they did that the U.S. public would never be satisfied until U.S. troops were occupying Tehran.

Of course it would take the full power of the entire U.S. military to conduct such a war, and the Iranians and their allies would hit use with literally everything that they have got.

As Lawrence Korb told Al Jazeera, it would be “a very, very violent conflict”…

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Lawrence Korb, former US Assistant Defense Secretary, said the last thing Trump wants is a conflict with Iran.

“If we would attack Iran, then we would have a very, very violent conflict that would spread throughout the whole Gulf,” he said.

I hardly ever agree with anything that is said on Al Jazeera, but in this case Lawrence Korb is precisely correct.

Such a war would draw in the entire Middle East, it would be the deadliest war the world has seen since World War 2, and it would set the stage for things that most Americans don’t want to think about.

So let’s hope that a peaceful way out of this crisis can be found.

Unfortunately, that appears to be less likely than ever.

Hopefully I am wrong, but military action appears to be imminent, and the situation in the Middle East is about to dramatically shift in a major way.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared NowThe Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

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