U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Urges Response ‘Short of War’ to Gulf Tankers Attack

Wants a thorough investigation before reaction

The Sunday “sabotage” on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates warrants a “thorough investigation,” according to US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid, who told reporters that he wants responses “short of war” to be taken.

Other officials indicated on Monday that they consider Iran the main suspect of the attack, though they have conceded that they don’t have any real evidence of this, let alone proof. Abizaid said starting a war over it would not be in the interest of Iran, the US, or Saudi Arabia.

Which is a potentially controversial position for the ambassador to take, given the ongoing US military buildup in the Middle East, centered around the idea of a war with Iran. Even if he believes this isn’t in America’s interest, nor justified on unproven allegations of sabotage, it seems to be the general direction the US is headed anyhow.

In particular, the idea of having a thorough investigation before the reaction is not the way the US has done things in recent years. At a time when hawks are lining up to call for action against Iran on any pretext, it is vital to hear the call to let cooler heads prevail.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.